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Vigilance urged as strain of avian flu discovered in bird in Ireland

Strain of flu discovered in bird in Limerick

The strain was discovered in a peregrine falcon in Limerick

A STRAIN of avian flu has been discovered in a wild bird in Ireland, the Department of Agriculture has said.

Avian influenza sub-type H5N8 was discovered in a peregrine falcon, which was submitted to the Limerick Regional Veterinary Laboratory.

Further tests are being carried out to determine whether the virus is the same highly pathogenic strain that is currently present in Britain, the Netherlands and Germany.

The results of these tests will not be available until late next week.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that the risk to humans is very low.

Although H5N8 can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, no human infections have been reported globally.

The Department reiterates that strict bio-security measures are necessary to prevent the introduction of avian influenza into poultry and captive bird flocks.

Flock owners are being asked to remain 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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