Two people at an infected poultry farm in England have tested positive for the bird flu virus, although none have experienced symptoms.
Detection of avian influenza in poultry farm workers may result from contamination of the nose and throat from inhalation of material on an affected farm or it may be a genuine infection. However, it can be difficult to differentiate between the two scenarios in people who do not have symptoms.
Depending on the timing of exposure and test results, it is likely that one person experienced nose and/or throat contamination from material inhaled in the field, while it is more difficult for another person to determine what caused What is. , Further investigation is on, but in the meantime preventive contact tracing has been done for this second person.
The UK Health Protection Agency (UKHSA) has not detected evidence of human-to-human transmission and detection does not change the level of risk to human health, which remains very low for the general population.
Professor Susan Hopkins, UKHSA Medical Adviser, commented: “Current evidence suggests that the avian influenza viruses we are seeing spreading in birds around the world are not easily transmitted to people. However, we already know that The virus can spread to people after close contact with infected birds and that is why, through screening programs like this, we are monitoring people who have been exposed to know more about this issue.
Therefore, he stresses that “it is essential that people avoid touching sick or dead birds.”
For those individuals most at risk, UKHSA health care teams establish daily contact to monitor the development of any symptoms.
In the asymptomatic surveillance program, “poultry workers are asked to swab their noses and throats within 10 days for the presence of influenza virus.”
As part of the public health response, the UKHSA is tracking everyone who has been in contact with a confirmed human case of avian influenza.