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Low risk bird flu on Norfolk farm identified as the H6 virus

PUBLISHED: 16:07 27 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:03 07 July 2010

Government tests have now identified a strain on bird flu found on a Norfolk farm as the H6N1 virus.

As reported yesterday, the flu affecting birds at Bernard Matthews' breeder farm at Yaxham, near Dereham, was very quickly ruled out as the deadly H5 or H7 strain of avian influenza.

Government tests have now identified a strain on bird flu found on a Norfolk farm as the H6N1 virus.

As reported yesterday, the flu affecting birds at Bernard Matthews' breeder farm at Yaxham, near Dereham, was very quickly ruled out as the deadly H5 or H7 strain of avian influenza.

This afternoon the firm said tests have now confirmed the birds have a virus, but one of low risk to humans.

A statement from the firm said: “Further testing has identified the type as H6N1. This is a virus type that has been isolated in both wild birds and commercial poultry flocks in Europe over the last few years.”

Government agency Defra started tests for bird flu on Arran Farm at Yaxham and another at Ubbeston near Halesworth in Suffolk after the firm brought it to their attention.

Workers had noticed an unusual drop in egg production levels at the sites.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has said staff do not have to be treated and said that the H6 type of avian influenza posed very low risk to human health and Tamiflu treatment for staff was not recommended.

The two farms remain under movement restrictions until Defra further tests are completed.

None of Bernard Matthews Farms other operations have been affected.

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