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The Bird Flu in the United Kingdom - Essay Example

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The object of this paper is to provide an assessment of how the government of the United Kingdom is currently combating the spread of the bird flu virus, and how it is preparing for a possible pandemic that can result in numerous human fatalities.
All over the world, the bird flu, also known as the avian influenza, has caused alarm and continues to present a looming threat of a flu pandemic…
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The Bird Flu in the United Kingdom
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Download file to see previous pages Sturcke and Batty (2006) report stated that as many as 46 countries have recorded bird flu cases in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. Aside from being a health risk, the bird flu is also a massive economic threat. Freeman (2005) stated that "the UK has about 120 million poultry, including chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese, worth 1.3 billion a year. About 25 per cent of the egg-laying flock are kept outdoors and about 10 per cent of chickens raised for meat are free-range." (Sturcke, J. & Batty, D., 2006. Q&A: Bird flu [online], The Guardian, 27 April, viewed 14 May, 2006, http://www.guardian.co.uk/birdflu/story/0,,1591620,00.html)
Boseley and Watt (2005) reported that after a meeting of EU veterinarians on the problem of bird flu, the British Veterinary Association's President stated that bird flu is inevitably going to arrive in the UK[and] there is a small but real danger that migrating wild birds could bring us a highly dangerous strain of the virus. (Boseley, S. & Watt, N., 2005. Vets say arrival of bird flu in UK is inevitable [online], The Guardian, 26 August, viewed 14 May, 2006, http://www.guardian.co.uk/birdflu/story/0,14207,1556846,00.html)
In a 2006 report, Sturcke and Batty stated incidents of the bird flu virus in the United Kingdom. A dead swan was found in Cellardyke and a parrot died in an Essex quarantine zone. Both incidents occurred in 2005, and both birds were found to have died from the H5N1 virus. In a farm west of Norwich, a number of chickens were found to have tested positive of the less deadly H7 strain of bird flu, which also infects humans. (Sturcke, J. & Batty, D., 2006. Q&A: Bird flu [online], The Guardian, 27 April, viewed 14 May, 2006, http://www.guardian.co.uk/birdflu/story/0,,1591620,00.html )
Needless to say, the alarm and threat of a widespread bird flu infection has prompted the UK government to take various measures in an attempt to prevent such a pandemic. BBC News (2006) reported that one such step was the UK's ban on imports of live chickens from Croatia, Turkey, Romania, Russia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Malaysia, South Africa, and North Korea, where bird flu outbreaks have occurred. (BBC News, 2006. Britain's bird flu preparations [online]. viewed 14 May, 2006, .)
The finding of dead swans in Fife and in Scotland prompted government to create a huge exclusion zone to prevent any further spread of the bird flu virus. Henderson, Macleod and English (2006) reported that a 1,000 square mile exclusion zone was set up, stretching from the Forth Road Bridge, north of Edinburgh, to Stonehaven in the north east and Perth in the north west. It greatly expands the 3km (1.8 mile) radius protection zone and 10km (6.2 mile) surveillance zone established around Cellardyke. (Henderson, M., Macleod, A., & English, S., 2006. 1,000 sq mile exclusion zone set up to combat risk of virus spreading [online], The Times, 07 April, viewed 14 May, 2006, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,25149-2122749,00.html)
Within that exclusion zone, there are found around 3.1 million domestic birds kept on about 175 poultry farms and would require that owners of 48 free-range farms will have to bring their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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