A third case, here in Ireland, of the H5N8 bird flu has been detected near the village of Borrisokane, in North Co. Tipperary. Alas same was confirmed today by the Department of Agriculture.
While no outbreaks have been detected in poultry here in Tipperary or indeed Ireland so far; two previous cases of the avian influenza have been confirmed in migrating birds within the past two months; one in Co Galway, and one in Wexford.
We understand that the case identified was found in a migrating Whooper Swan. The Whooper Swan which normally breeds in Iceland, is a Winter visitor to Ireland’s wetlands, coastal inlets, estuaries and rivers, feeding on grasslands and stubble. Visiting from October to April each year; same are easily recognised via their vocal bugling or honking sound.
Following these confirmations of avian influenza, the Department of Agriculture has again emphasised the need for poultry flock owners to confine poultry and to remain vigilant; thus assisting in the prevention of this disease. Owners are also required to report any suspicious disease affecting their flocks; to their nearest Department Veterinary Office (Davis Street Tipperary – Tel: 062 80100).
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that although the H5N8 subtype flu can cause serious disease in poultry and other bird life, no human infections of this virus have as yet been reported world-wide and therefore risk to humans is considered to be extremely low. Warning however, the public, particularly curious children, are advised not to handle or seek to aid sick or dead birds, if located.