160 birds culled in the UK as 79-year-old grandfather is diagnosed with avian flu that experts say is deadly to humans – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

160 birds culled in the UK as 79-year-old grandfather is diagnosed with avian flu that experts say is deadly to humans




(Image source: PA/Daily Mail)

A man in the UK has been infected with a deadly strain of bird flu after befriending a number of ducks in his locality.

According to the Daily Mail, 79-year-old Alan Gosling has been named as “patient zero” after catching the virus which is thought to kill up to 50% of the people who are infected.

Mr. Gosling is said to be in good health and is in self-isolation at the moment.  It is said that he has been looking after 160 Muscovy ducks at his home in Buckfastleigh. Sadly, they were all culled after they tested positive for the virus last week.

It is reported that Mr. Gosling did not need to be hospitalised, and to date there is no evidence that anyone caught the virus from him.  He has described the past two weeks as a “nightmare”, that he feels fine physically, but has been devastated by the culling of his birds, saying:

“I’d been with them for more than 20 years so it’s a huge loss,” he said.  “They were my family – they were my life.”

He also said that he thought the culling was an unnecessary step and that the birds were very caring:

“People don’t realise they are intelligent, but also so sweet.  They used to sit on my slippers to warm them up for me before I put them on.  The house was never empty and I was never alone.  Now it’s like a morgue.”

Mr. Gosling’s daughter-in-law Ellesha, and husband Richard have said that they have not been able to see him since he caught the virus.  When officials in hazmat suits were arranging to cull the birds, they begged them not to and said that the birds were his “closest friends”.

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