The virus has been sequenced at the national reference laboratory and appears to be a reassortant between the H5N8 HPAI virus and a N6 LPAI virus, therefore may represent a new incursion into Europe.
There is still a level of uncertainty around the source of disease and the zoonotic disease risk but it appears on preliminary analysis not to be closely related to the sporadic zoonotic H5N6 HPAI strains in East Asia.
H5N8 HPAI continues to circulate in poultry in Italy and Bulgaria and some wild bird cases have been reported in Italy.
The migration season is continuing and cold weather can drive the wild birds inland or closer to poultry farms.
Vigilance is important at this time of year and we will be monitoring the situation. At present the risk level remains as Medium for an incursion in wild birds and low for poultry with good biosecurity.”
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