UK’s bird flu 'patient zero' is distraught after being told he cannot keep ducks for a year

THE UK’s bird flu “patient zero” is distraught after being told he cannot keep ducks for a year, his family say.

Alan Gosling, 79, had to let his 160 birds be destroyed in December when they were found to have a new strain of the deadly avian disease.

He had hand-reared many, and 20 muscovys lived inside his house in Buckfastleigh, Devon.

The retired train driver — who described his flock as family — spent Christmas in quarantine alone at his home, which is being deep-cleaned.

Alan, who had tested positive but is now negative, was told of the ban by public health chiefs.

Daughter-in-law Ellesha Gosling, 26, said: “Dad’s face dropped. It really hurt him.

“When the ducks were killed, his only bit of hope was that he’d get more.

“Now he’s been told it’s not safe for a year.”

Symptoms of bird flu:

Call a GP or NHS 111 if you experience any symptoms of bird flu and have visited an area affected by bird flu in the past 10 days.

The main symptoms of bird flu can appear very quickly and include:

  • a very high temperature or feeling hot or shivery
  • aching muscles
  • headache
  • a cough or shortness of breath

Other early symptoms may include:

  • diarrhoea
  • sickness
  • stomach pain
  • chest pain
  • bleeding from the nose and gums
  • conjunctivitis

It usually takes three to five days for the first symptoms to appear after you've been infected.

Within days of symptoms appearing, it's possible to develop more severe complications such as pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

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