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Cases Of Bird Flu Identified On Lough Derg.

Whooper Swans

The Department of Agriculture have issued a warning, following the discovery of bird flu in a number of sick and dead birds found near Dromineer, in North Co. Tipperary.

Same has resulted in a warning system being put in place through the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Birdwatch Ireland, and the Regional Game Councils, seeking close surveillance on further signs of the possible HPAI strain in all wild birds. Members of the public are also being asked to contribute to this surveillance, by directly notifying the Department of Agriculture of any location where sick or dead wild birds have been identified.

It is understood that up to 50 dead birds have been found located within the Dromineer area, since the start of 2023, with the H5N1 subtype having been confirmed in the carcasses. In the past year, more than 90 wild birds with H5N1 HPAI have also been detected nationally

The H5N1 subtype viruses naturally spreads among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other animal species. However the risk to humans is considered very low; nevertheless sporadic human infections have indeed occurred.

Members of the public, (especially children attempting to catch sick birds), are therefore advised not to handle same, and to keep their dogs on a leash in known areas where sick or dead birds have already been identified.
Poultry flock owners are asked to remain vigilant for any signs of this disease in their flocks and to report any disease suspicion immediately to the Department of Agriculture.

In domestic poultry flocks the form of this virus is understood to present itself suddenly, with very high mortality, and with affected birds developing swollen heads, a blue colouration of the comb and wattle area [latter the skin under the chin], lack of appetite, respiratory distress, diarrhoea and a significant drop in egg production.

To date no evidence has been found to suggest there being any risk associated with the consumption of poultry meat or associated products of poultry meat, or indeed eggs.

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