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Monday, October 24, 2005

...no jokes about Norwegian Blues!

This is another dead parrot. A scarier and more worrying dead parrot.

The parrot which died in quarantine in the UK has tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has said.

The bird, which was found to contain the H5 virus on Friday, was tested at the Veterinary Laboratory Agency in Weybridge, Surrey.

Defra said that the closest match to the disease was found in ducks in China earlier this year.

The parrot, imported from South America, which arrived in the country last month and died last week, was being held in a quarantine facility in Essex.

The type of H5N1 found in the parrot is "not so similar" to the strains isolated from Romania and Turkey.

A Defra spokeswoman said: "It is not a strain that the Veterinary Laboratory Agency has seen before."

Earlier, the Health Secretary said a human flu pandemic in the UK is inevitable and could lead to people staying away from the workplace and public gatherings.

Patricia Hewitt conceded that scientists had warned it was a case of when not if the flu strikes, but could not give a timetable because "we simply don't know".

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