Confirmed case of bird flu in Wirral as council issues warning

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A case of bird flu has been confirmed in a dead bird collected at Birkenhead Park.

The news comes as cases of a strain of bird flu called H5N1 have been identified across the country.

Tests were carried out after dead birds were removed from Wirral Park last week.

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A spokesperson for the Wirral Council told ECHO: ‘The Council has received confirmation from the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) that there is a confirmed case of avian influenza originating from a dead bird removed from the Birkenhead park.

“The Council is working with the Animal and Plant Health Agency and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to confirm this and ensure that appropriate measures are put in place.

“In the meantime, members of the public are urged not to touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds they find. Signs reinforcing this message are placed in the park.

“The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) has stated that avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the health of the general public is very low.

“If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to Defra. You can do this through the website www.gov.uk/defra or by calling 03 459 33 55 77.

A case of bird flu in a human in the southwest of England was reported last week, although bird-to-human transmission remains extremely rare, reports The Mirror.



Bird flu outbreaks have been confirmed across the country

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the UK’s Chief Veterinarian have warned bird owners to “do not touch sick or dead birds and [to] follow the advice of the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on the declaration.

A DEFRA spokesperson said: “We are aware of a number of reported wild bird deaths in several places in England.

“These deaths are currently under investigation as part of the ongoing Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) wild bird monitoring program.”

“Dead wild water birds (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, should be reported to the Defra hotline (03459 335577). Members of the public should not pick up any dead or visibly sick birds. “

“APHA will then organize the collection of some of these birds and test them to help us understand how the disease is distributed geographically and in different types of birds.”

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