Another case of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) has been discovered in Ireland, making it the sixth case on the island over the last few months.
The first case of the virus was discovered in a Duck (Wigeon) in Co. Wexford on 28th December 2016. The bird was discovered alive but unable to fly and it was later confirmed after veterinary tests that it had been infected with the H5N8 strain of Avian Influenza.
The most recent case has been confirmed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) as the H5N8 strain of the Influenza virus, which was found in a Whooper Swan in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. The last four cases for this virus were all found in Whooper Swans. This has been the second case in Co. Tipperary as the virus was found in another Whooper Swan in Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary this January.
There have been no confirmed human infections of this strain globally this year and therefore the risk of transmission to the human population in Ireland is considered to be significantly low. However, the DAFM have advised the general public to not handle any dead birds or birds appearing to be very ill.
The DAFM are now collecting birds for testing with the aim of understanding the distribution and travel of the virus on the island. There is still a continued warning by the DAFM to poultry farmers to confine their flocks to indoor areas to prevent risk of the Avian Influenza virus spreading further.