Second case of bird flu confirmed in wild bird in Galway

No outbreaks have been detected in poultry so far

Second case of bird flu confirmed in wild bird in Galway

A wigeon | Image: The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed a second case of avian influenza H5N8 in a wigeon in Galway.

This is the second confirmed case, after a wild duck was infected in Wexford.

However, no outbreaks have been detected in poultry in Ireland so far.

The department say this confirms that poultry flocks across the country are at risk from the virus.

It is emphasising the requirement to confine poultry and other birds - and to apply strict bio-security measures to prevent the introduction of avian influenza.

Poultry flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease, and report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Veterinary Office.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has confirmed that although the H5N8 subtype can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, no human infections have been reported world-wide.

It says therefore the risk to humans is considered to be very low.

The public is advised not to handle sick or dead birds.

The Department of Agriculture say staff will continue to collect sufficient birds for testing to help understand how the disease is distributed.

They are being assisted by rangers from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Earlier this week, the department confirmed that the Wexford case was part of a "highly pathogenic strain" previously confirmed in the UK and mainland Europe.