Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bird flu

Ugh--this makes my blood run cold. This is the town where my children were born. This is the beach where we walked our dogs daily. This is the town where I have set Storm Warning. This is the town with a MAJOR bird sanctuary 5 miles off shore and these birds disperse worldwide after the breeding season. I am hoping this thing doesn't turn into a human contact virus.

From the BBC

Swan tests confirm deadly virus
Cellardyke Harbour
There are now restrictions in place
A swan found dead in Scotland has tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

The Scottish Executive has extended surveillance zones in Scotland to include 175 properties with 3.1 million birds, as well as free-range poultry.

The dead mute swan was found in Cellardyke, Fife, eight days ago. Other birds are being tested.

The H5N1 virus does not currently pose a large-scale threat to humans as it cannot pass easily between people.


But experts fear the virus could mutate to gain this ability, and in its new form trigger a flu pandemic, potentially putting millions of human lives at risk.

Scotland's Chief Veterinary Officer Charles Milne, announcing confirmation of H5N1, said a surveillance zone was being extended to 965 sq miles (2,500 sq km).

Map of Scotland showing protection zone in 1.8 mile (3km) radius around Cellardyke, the 6 mile (10km) protection zone and wider wild bird risk area.

The zone contained 175 registered premises, with in total 3.1 million poultry.

About 48 were free-range premises with 260,000 birds.

A total of 14 cases of birds are being checked for bird flu from Scotland including 12 swans and two other species.

Mr Milne said: "There is no indication that any of these are positive."

Farmers are being ordered to house their birds where possible, or separate them from wild birds.

However, the Scottish Executive said it would be "disproportionate" to house poultry UK-wide.

Officials were also banning the gathering of birds and enhancing their surveillance.

An initial 1.8 mile (3km) protection zone was set up around Cellardyke on Wednesday, surrounded by a six-mile (10km) surveillance zone.

'Unwelcome' development

The infected bird, a native UK breed, was collected from Cellardyke harbour on 30 March - a day after it was reported by a resident.


  1. Let's just pray that it never mutates into a virus that humans can contract.

  2. I've been listening to this on the radio/tv and at first just heard Fife - but was amazed when it was Cellardyke. Lets hope they contain it and it doesn't spread to other wildlife, animals or humans.....

  3. Sure hope there are some mad scientists working on a vaccine for this.