The UK’s bird flu “patient zero” says he has tested negative for the virus – and now plans on getting more ducks.
Alan Gosling, 79, was named last week as the first person in the country to contract a new strain of bird flu.
The retired engineer and father of three had lived with about 20 ducks inside his home in Buckfastleigh, Devon, with more living outside.
He has been self-isolating since 22 December last year after returning a positive test, but says he received a phone call on Friday informing him his latest test had come back negative.
He said he greeted the news of his negative test with a “roar of laughter”.
"It doesn’t really make a great deal of difference because I don’t go outside at the moment because of all the other pandemics,” said Gosling.
"I’m fine, I've got no aches and pains or anything. They keep ringing me and asking me how I feel and I say I feel perfect.
"I'm quite honoured with the fact anything they found when they're testing it's going to help produce a medication and that's the main thing."
Gosling hopes to see his son, Richard, 47, and daughter-in-law Ellesha, 26, again after isolating for almost three weeks.
He said: "It will be nice to have somebody to come in and here and talk to. I haven't got any birds to talk to now, the ducks have gone.
"They were my family they were, I had a few in here and they were very close."
Ellesha said: “Dad had a call from a health and safety authority doctor telling him his latest swab has come back clear and he is now bird flu clear.
“He tested positive over the New Year but the latest test has come back negative.
“We still need more details about what that means for dad and when he can go out again. It's been such a horrible time for him.”
Gosling had more than 100 Muscovy ducks living outside his home and noticed several falling ill before Christmas.
Tests carried out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (Apha) found the animals had the H5N1 strain of avian flu. They were killed shortly after Christmas.
Gosling tested positive for the flu virus and also the H5N1 strain of avian flu, a UK first for humans.
He said: "I'd like to have my bloody ducks back, I miss them like hell. They broke my heart, they have been with me for such a long time.
"All of them were very, very close to me, they knew exactly what I was doing. I used to call them and they'd come, it was like having a dog really.
"I'm disgusted with the way they killed them."
Gosling said he hopes to get more ducks in the future.
A press release issued last week by the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed there had been a human case of bird flu in the South West of England. There have been a number of cases in animals in the past few weeks across the country.
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