By NewsDesk @bactiman63
The Ireland Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) is warning the public and poultry owners of avian influenza after at least three cases have been reported in wild birds in November.
The first case from early November was a confirmed Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus A subtype H5N8 in a wild bird (Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus) in County Limerick.
Since then, two more HPAI H5N8 avian influenza cases in wild birds have been confirmed in a mute swan, Cygnus olor, in Monaghan and a curlew, Numenius arquata, in Mayo on 20th November.
It is believed that all three birds are migratory birds from mainland Europe.
Although infection does not commonly occur in humans, but sporadic cases have been reported, HPSC is warning the public not to handle any sick or dead wild birds.
Most cases that occur in humans are linked to close contact with infected stock and occurs particularly when handing flock, for example during de-feathering or butchering.
In addition, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) have issued an alert to poultry owners regarding the need for strict biosecurity measures to prevent the introduction of Avian Influenza into poultry and captive bird flocks. Poultry owners are asked to look out for signs of disease in their flocks and to report any suspicions to their Regional Veterinary Office.
A number of outbreaks have been reported in Europe this year, to include:
England – Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus subtype H5N8 was confirmed in a group of 5 wild birds in the Gloucestershire area of England in November 2020. A second outbreak has since been confirmed.
The Netherlands – Four outbreaks have been reported in the Netherlands between October and November 2020. These outbreaks have occurred in poultry stock.
Germany – Nine outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus subtype H5N8 have been confirmed since the 4th November 2020.
France – One outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus subtype H5N8 was identified in November 2020 in a pet store.
Sweden – One outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus subtype H5N8 has been identified in turkeys in November 2020.
Denmark – One outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus subtype H5N8 was identified in commercial flock in November 2020.