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This month the DoH will send information packs on bird flu to all practices. Caroline White looks at the virus and outbreak contingency plans.
As practices gear up for the start of the annual flu vaccination programme, the threat to human health posed by bird flu continues to give cause for concern.
As yet there is no strong evidence to suggest that the H5N1 virus, the deadliest form of bird flu infection identified so far, can easily spread from person to person. To date 112 people are known to have been infected, 57 of whom died. All occurred in rural areas of south east Asia where close daily contact with the principal reservoir of infection - domestic poultry - is the norm.
But surveillance has revealed changes in the surface proteins and …