The Department of Agriculture officially confirmed today in a press release that an “avian influenza subtype H5N8” detected in a wild bird in County Wexford on the 28th of September is in fact that of a strain that has been detected in a number of cases in the UK and mainland Europe. This is the only reported case of this in Ireland to date and poultry farmers are reminded to be very vigilant of symptoms of the influenza and if suspected should be reported to local department veterinary office.
Department has reassured in conjunction with the Health Protection surveillance Centre that there is no risk to human health. This area must be monitored closely as H5N8 “bird-flu” is becoming more pathogenic and can lead to rise to H1N1.
Department have stipulated for poultry farmers to
“Confine poultry and other birds, and to apply strict bio-security measures to prevent the introduction of avian influenza”
Poultry farmers should be on the lookout for the following symptoms and should contact a veterinary office if unsure.
- loss of appetite and excessive thirst
- swollen head
- blue discolouration of combs, wattles, neck and throat
- respiratory distress such as gaping beak, coughing, sneezing, gurgling, rattling
- reduced/no eggs laid
- Sudden death.
The depart have provided more useful information on their website in relation to high risk birds to be on the lookout, handling of dead fowl, Biosecurity measures and FAQ with regards to the Avian Influenza. This and much more can be found here.