Highly pathogenic strain of bird flu confirmed in duck found in Co. Wexford

The Department of Agriculture today announced that it has confirmed that the avian influenza subtype H5N8 detected in the wild bird found in County Wexford on December 28 is the highly pathogenic strain.

According to the Department, it is the highly pathogenic strain that has previously been confirmed in the UK and mainland Europe.

This is the only case detected in Ireland so far.

As previously advised, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that the risk to humans is considered to be very low.

The Department continues to monitor the situation and notes the deteriorating weather forecast for continental Europe this week.

The Department reiterates once again 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 in their flocks, and report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Veterinary Office (DVO).

Back in December, the Department announced that it has confirmed avian influenza subtype in a wild bird in Co. Wexford.

The wild duck – a wigeon – was found alive but unable to fly in Wexford Town on December 28.

At the time, the Department had been unable to identify whether or not the duck had been infected with the highly pathogenic strain.

Flock owners are being advised to remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks, and report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Veterinary Office.

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