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Avian Flu

Volume 401: debated on Friday 14 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what implications for human health avian influenza has. [102366]

Avian influenza viruses very occasionally infect humans. However, this is a very rare event. An outbreak of avian influenza (strain H5N1) in Hong Kong in 1997 resulted in the death of six people. There was no evidence of human to human spread. In Europe there have been several cases of avian flu without any human consequences. The United Kingdom has plans in place to deal with a pandemic situation should the need arise.