The UK's bird flu 'patient zero' says he feels well but is very lonely - as the first photo of him in isolation is released.

Alan Gosling, 79, was identified yesterday (January 6) as man who had become infected with a particular strain of avian flu, writes Amy Reast.

The dad-of-three, from Buckfastleigh, Devon, is believed to have caught the disease from ducks he had adopted.

He began to see some of his flock of Muscovy ducks adopted from a local park falling ill in late December - which resulted in all 160 being culled soon after.

Doctors then did tests to see if Alan himself had become infected despite the fact the H5N1 strain had never infected a human before - and came back positive.

The retired train driver is now stuck inside his home alone as he grieves his ducks - with his family growing increasingly concerned.

Alan said this morning (January 7) that he is feeling "absolutely fine - but very lonely."

He said: "As far as health is concerned, I'm fine, but I can't stop thinking about the ducks.

"I'm as fit and healthy now as I was donkeys years ago, because looking after the ducks kept me busy and active every day.

"By now, I would be back out with them, except I don't have any because they killed them all.

"I can't believe it - some of them I had for 12, 13 years since they were tiny chicks and I hand-reared them.

"They all had different stories - and then I had to watch them being killed and I couldn't do anything to help them.

"At the moment, I don't know what to do with my days.

"Before I would always be outside with the ducks, cleaning them out, keeping an eye on them - they kept my days fully booked and that was how I liked it.

"People thought I was mad when they heard me shouting them to come back in from the river, but that's how it's always been, until now."

Daughter-in-law Ellesha Gosling, 26, and son Richard Gosling, 47, say they are worried about their relative.

She said: "The past couple of weeks have been hell. Alan told us when the birds were killed, it was the 'worst moment of his life'.

"The culling of his beloved ducks has destroyed him - it's broken him. It has been so stressful and an absolute nightmare for us as a family.

"Both myself and my husband have had to take time off work to handle it.

"He has asked questions about his health and we can't answer any questions because we don't know any answers.

"He has told us he is not poorly, but he's really stubborn and we don't think he would tell us if he was. We are very worried.

"Not just because of the flu, but because those ducks were his closest family and he has just lost all of them at once and now he's stuck inside on his own.

"It has devastated him."