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Spitting feathers Case of deadly Bird Flu confirmed in wild bird in Galway

The peregrine falcon was tested at Limerick Regional Veterinary Laboratory as part of the Department’s wild bird surveillance programme

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The falcon was found in Oranmore.

The falcon was found in Oranmore.

The falcon was found in Oranmore.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine have confirmed that Bird Flu has been detected in Ireland.

In a statement today the Government said that the highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) was detected in a wild bird in Oranmore, Co Galway.

The peregrine falcon was tested at Limerick Regional Veterinary Laboratory as part of the Department’s wild bird surveillance programme.

The highly pathogenic H5N1 has been confirmed in wild birds, poultry and captive birds across Great Britain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Poland and Denmark since mid-October this year.

“We are currently in the high-risk period (October to April) for introduction of HPAI into Ireland from migratory wild birds returning to overwinter from areas where HPAI is widespread. Wild birds act as main reservoirs of avian influenza viruses,” the department said.

“The Department remains in close contact with industry stakeholders and reiterates that strict bio-security measures are necessary to prevent the introduction of avian influenza into poultry and captive bird flocks. Flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks and report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Veterinary Office.”

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that although the flu can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, human infection is extremely rare and no human infections with this virus have been reported in Europe this year.

Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs are safe to eat.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention since 2003, more than 700 human infections of the virus have been reported across 15 countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific and Europe.

Although human infections with this virus are rare, approximately 60% of those with confirmed cases of the virus have died.

If you find a sick or dead wild bird, it should be reported to The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine using the Avian Check Wild Bird Application or through their app.

The public have been warned not to handle sick or dead wild birds if possible. Where this is unavoidable, it is advised to wear gloves and dispose them appropriately. It is vital to wash your hands and arms with hot soapy water afterwards.

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The public have also been asked not bring sick wild birds home, particularly if you own or work with poultry or other captive birds. Wild birds may be carrying diseases which could spread to your own birds.

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