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Bird Flu back in Britain

The H5N1 bird flu disease had its first mass outbreak in Britain earlier this year, government said.

The source of the outbreak has not yet been identified, Acting chief veterinarian Chief Veterinary Officer Fred Landeg said.

About 5,000 free-range turkeys, 1,000 ducks and 500 geese on the affected farm were being culled, officials said earlier. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1547496.html

A dozen black-feathered turkeys were spotted dead in a field. A witness said, "They were dropping like flies. Several were lying around with their legs in the air." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/13/nbird313.xml

According to the StarTribune, if the disease spreads, it could affect the Christmas poultry. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1547496.html

Shadow Environment Secretary Peter Ainsworth said, "This is yet another nightmare for the farming community and we can only hope that this is an isolated case." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/13/nbird313.xml

According to reports by the StarTribne, "A two-mile protection zone and a six-mile surveillance zone were created around the infected farm, and further restrictions were imposed throughout Suffolk and much of the neighboring county of Norfolk." http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1547496.html

Britain's first case of the H5N1 virus was in a swan in Scotland in 2006. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1547496.html

H5N1 has previously been found in France, Switzerland, and Germany and human cases have been recorded in Turkey and Azerbaijan. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1547496.html

Experts say that bird flue remains difficult for humans to catch, however they are worried it could mutate into a form that could be easily spread among people. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1547496.html