The dead swan found in Scotland is the only bird to have shown the H5N1 virus bird flu in the UK. No other birds have been identified with the infection and health officials are now confident that the bird was a migratory one and not a native species. This has calmed fears of a pandemic in the country.
AdvertisementScotland's chief veterinary officers admitted that they were unaware of where exactly the bird came from, but say that the swan died at sea and was washed up on the Scottish coast. It was initially thought that the infected species was a Mute swan, a bird that does not migrate. However, it is now clear that the bird was not native. Poultry industry feared a pandemic in wild birds, which could have transmitted the deadly infection to domesticated birds. The extensive tests have identified the bird as a Whooper swan, which is a migratory bird, which spends most of the winter in Britain and Europe. The dead swan is the only wild bird in Britain so far to have the H5N1 virus. Scotland's chief medical officer h has asked people to stay calm since the risk of bird flu pandemic is very low. Scientists fear that the virus might mutate to a form easily transmissible between humans and trigger a pandemic. This has not happened so far.