The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed that a fifth case of bird flu has been found in the Republic of Ireland.

The Department states that a Whooper Swan tested positive for the H5N8 strain of Avian Influenza in Ballinturley, Co. Roscommon.

Whilst the location where the bird was found is given, it says, this does not mean that the risk of introduction of the virus to poultry or other birds is confined to that immediate area.

This is the third such case of the virus to be identified in the migratory species after positive cases were identified Tipperary and Leitrim/Longford areas in recent weeks.

The two other cases of the virus were found in wigeons, one in Wexford and one in Galway.

The Department has warned poultry owners and those with backyard flocks to confine their birds, even if they only keep a few chickens.

It is a requirement to confine poultry and other birds, and to apply strict bio-security measures to prevent the introduction of bird flu.

The birds must be confined in a secure building to which wild birds, or other animals do not have access.

Poultry flocks across the country are at risk from introduction of the virus and flock owners are advised to remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks, and report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Veterinary Office.

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

Department staff will continue to collect sufficient birds for testing to help understand how the disease is distributed geographically, in different species and over time.

Further information on avian influenza can be found on the Department’s website. Meanwhile, advice on handling dead wild birds can be found here.