British scientists are continuing tests to determine whether a parrot in qurantine had the lethal strain of avian flu that has killed more than sixty people in Asia.
It is already known that the parrot came from South America but Britain’s chief veterinary officer, Debby Reynolds, says she has no idea where it caught H5. “No I can’t confirm it, it’s the H5 highly pathogennic strain of avian influenza but I’ve not yet got the N1 results so it’s too soon to say.” Because the bird died in quarantine, the discovery of bird flu does not affect Britain’s disease free status. Hungary, meanwhile, says it has successfully tested a vaccine on humans. Chief medical officer, Dr. Laszlo Bujdoso, says up to 120,000 doses will be produced until the end of the year. However no-one knows if the vaccine will work against a flu epidemic which is yet to emerge. So far the deadly virus has been mostly found in eastern Europe as well as Greece and Turkey. Croatia has become the latest country to be affected after its first case was discovered yesterday. Authorities have now cordoned off the fish pond where the dead bird was found as they prepare to cull all poultry and wild fowl around the area.