Avian Flu

House of Lords written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of The Duke of Montrose The Duke of Montrose Deputy Chief Whip, Whips, Shadow Minister (Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Also In Scotland Team), Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Shadow Minister, Scotland

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have identified any other countries with H5N1 avian flu infections with a sufficiently similar gene nucleotide sequence to suggest that they might have a link to the outbreaks in Hungary and Suffolk.

Photo of Lord Rooker Lord Rooker Minister of State (Sustainable Farming and Food), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Farming and Food), The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

The epidemiological investigation is ongoing and, as yet, we have not been able to rule out any method of introduction.

At present, genetic sequencing of isolates of the H5N1 virus has not revealed another virus similar to that found in Hungary and Suffolk. As part of the ongoing investigation, we are investigating whether the outbreaks in England and Hungary came from a common third source. A full report will be published when the investigation is complete. It is likely that that will take a few weeks yet.

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