The Health Protection Agency has confirmed that the discovery of H1N1 infection in poultry on a farm in North West England poses “no risk to public health”.
National agencies have reassured the public that there is no additional risk to public health as a result of the discovery of H1N1 infection in poultry on a farm in North West England.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) reports that the strain of H1N1 (2009) infection discovered on the farm is similar to that circulating in the human population.
The infection was discovered during an investigation into a fall in egg production. However, the birds do not have significant illness and there has been no evidence of illness in the workers on the farm related to this incident.
The Food Standards Agency confirms that there is no risk to the food chain. Influenza is not transmissible to people through properly handled and cooked poultry meat, products and eggs. Cooking kills the influenza virus very quickly.
Qutub Syed, director of HPA North West, said: “We were alerted to this issue by DEFRA and we are working closely with them, with local and national veterinary colleagues and the local NHS. We have undertaken a thorough public health risk assessment and we can confirm there is no risk to public health.
“As per national recommendations, our NHS colleagues have given normal seasonal flu vaccine to poultry workers on the farm, no illness has been recorded. Local agencies and organisations have been informed about the situation.”