The Department today announced that it has confirmed a second case of avian influenza H5N8 in a wigeon in County Galway. No outbreaks have been detected in poultry in Ireland so far.
This confirms that poultry flocks across the country are at risk from introduction of the virus. The Department once more emphasises the requirement to confine poultry and other birds, and to apply strict bio-security measures to prevent the introduction of avian influenza. Poultry 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 H5N8 subtype can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, no human infections with this virus have been reported world-wide and therefore risk to humans is considered to be very low.
The public is advised not to handle sick or dead birds. Department staff will continue to collect sufficient birds for testing to help understand how the disease is distributed geographically, in different species and over time. The Department is being assisted in this task by patrols carried out by rangers from the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Weekly updates on wild birds which test positive for the virus will be published on the Department’s website.
Further information on avian influenza can be found here:
Ducks and Geese Avian Influenza Biosecurity Advice