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UK bird flu outbreak from duck

25th October 2007

Scientists have produced a computer model which predicts that 73% of avian flu outbreaks in the UK would not spread farther than the infected farm they originated from, but wider-scale outbreaks were more likely to be found in the duck meat industry.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) asked a team working at the University of Liverpool to design the computer model to simulate how outbreaks of avian flu might spread.

The study showed that areas of highest risk were East Anglia, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire because of the prevalence of duck meat companies in these regions. Duck meat was identified as a potentially higher cause of outbreaks because ducks "often do not show signs of the disease and as such delays diagnosis and control of the infection".

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