Avian flu confirmed in Co Limerick peregrine falcon

‘Flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease,’ Department of Agriculture says

The peregrine falcon has contracted avian influenza subtype H5N8.  Stock image: iStock

The peregrine falcon has contracted avian influenza subtype H5N8. Stock image: iStock

 

A wild bird in Co Limerick has been confirmed with a subtype of avian influenza, the Department of Agriculture has said.

The peregrine falcon has contracted avian influenza subtype H5N8 and was submitted to the Limerick Regional Veterinary Laboratory as part of the Department’s wild bird AI surveillance programme.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre said although the H5N8 subtype can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, no human infections with this virus have been reported worldwide and therefore risk to humans is considered to be very low.

Further tests are being carried out to determine whether the virus is the same highly pathogenic strain that is currently present in Great Britain, the Netherlands and Germany. The results of these tests will not be available until late next week.

The Department said it remains in close contact with industry stakeholders and 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,” it said.