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A peregrine falcon in flight. Shutterstock/Harry Collins Photography

Strain of avian influenza found in wild bird in Limerick

The risk to humans is considered to be very low.

A WILD BIRD IN Limerick has a confirmed infection with a subtype of avian influenza, according to the Department of Agriculture.

The department has reported that the wild bird in Limerick has contracted avian influenza subtype H5N8.

The risk to humans from the H5N8 subtype is considered to be very low.

No human infections with the subtype have been reported worldwide.

However, it can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds.

The bird in Limerick, a peregrine falcon, was submitted to the Limerick Regional Veterinary Laboratory under the Department of Agriculture’s wild bird AI surveillance programme.

Tests are currently underway to determine whether the virus in the Limerick bird is the same type as a highly pathogenic strain currently present in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany.

The results of the tests are not expected until late next week.

In a statement, the Department of Agriculture said that it is 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 department said.

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