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Bird flu found in wild duck in Wexford

The H5N8 virus is highly pathogenic, and has been found across the UK and Europe in recent times.

Image: Kuribo/Wikipedia Commons

THE DEPARTMENT OF Agriculture has announced that a wild duck found in Wexford town has avian influenza, or bird flu.

The wigeon was found alive but unable to fly on 28 December. It has been confirmed the duck had the H5N8 subtype of bird flu.

In recent weeks, birds with the H5N8 subtype have been found in the UK and the department is warning that the disease can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds.

However, no human has been affected by this form of the virus as of yet.

A department statement said: “No human infections with this virus have been reported world-wide and therefore risk to humans is considered to be very low.”

The disease has been seen to highly pathogenic across Europe and strict measures are being urged to ensure the virus doesn’t affect poultry here in Ireland.

Last week, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed introduced regulations requiring the compulsory housing of poultry as a result of the increased threat of this form of bird flu.

The department added: “[We] reiterate 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.”

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