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Feathers flu

April 2006

How did Bird Flu reach Britain?

Feathers flu

The UK has reported its first case in a wild bird of the deadly H5N1 virus.

It is unclear whether the dead bird, which came from outside of the UK, picked up the disease abroad.

The disease has been blamed for 169 human deaths in Asia and the Middle East.

At the time of writing, a 1.8-mile protection zone had been placed around Cellardyke in Fife, where a dead infected swan was recently found.

Relevance

This resource will have particular appeal for A-level candidates who are studying migration, globalisation, agriculture or the geography of health and welfare (Edexcel B). The story examines how natural and globalising processes have aided the spread of this emergent disease, while also highlighting the economic impact the virus is starting to have on different societies and environments.

In the Members' Area:

  • What are the origins of this disease?
  • Why has it spread globally so quickly?
  • How might it threaten the economic development of many Asian nations?
  • What could the impacts for UK consumers be?

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