Source: Gety Images

One of the workers is thought to have contracted the virus after inhaling material on the farm

Two poultry workers have tested positive for the A (H5) strain of avian flu, the UK Health Security Agency has confirmed.

The agency said yesterday that neither worker had experienced any symptoms of avian influenza and both had since tested negative.

UKHSA added there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission and these detections did not change the level of risk to human health, which remains very low to the general population.

One person was likely to have have had contamination of the nose and/or throat from material inhaled on the farm, the government agency said.

The cause in the second person was described as “more difficult to determine” but the UKHSA has said further investigation is under way and precautionary contact tracing has been undertaken.

“Globally there is no evidence of spread of this strain from person to person, but we know that viruses evolve all the time and we remain vigilant for any evidence of changing risk to the population,” said Professor Susan Hopkins, chief medical advisor at UKHSA.

While the mandatory housing order on poultry was lifted last month, bird flu cases have continued to be reported at poultry sites. One commercial poultry site near Scunthorpe had a case detected earlier this week. A 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone have been declared around the premises.

“It remains critical that people avoid touching sick or dead birds, and that they follow the Defra advice about reporting,” added Hopkins.

UKHSA has contact traced close contacts where needed. For those with the highest risk of avian flu, UKHSA health protection teams contact them daily to monitor for the development of any symptoms so that it can take appropriate action if necessary.