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Avian Influenza – How to Spot and Report Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

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Avian Influenza - How to Spot and Report Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

(CTN News) – In November 2021, the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) was implemented. A reduction in avian influenza risk has led to this decision.

There’s a lower risk for kept birds, but that doesn’t mean there’s no risk. Bird keepers should follow enhanced biosecurity measures at all times to prevent outbreaks.

Also, keepers should monitor their birds closely and report any signs of disease right away.

What to do if you suspect an outbreak of avian influenza.

Avian influenza

Bird flu (avian influenza) mostly affects birds. Humans and other mammals can also get it.

In Scotland and elsewhere in the UK, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 has been confirmed.

Get the latest on avian influenza outbreaks, including the current disease response plan. There are still mandatory biosecurity requirements.

There’s a notifiable animal disease called avian influenza.

Contact your local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) Field Services Office if you suspect avian influenza in poultry or captive birds. You’re breaking the law if you don’t.

Clinical signs

There are two avian influenza viruses: highly pathogenic and low pathogenic. The major antigen determinants of viruses are H (for haemagglutinin) and N (for neuraminidase).

There’s a highly pathogenic H5N1 strain that’s causing concern right now.

H5 and H7 subtypes are most important in birds.

The LPAI H5 and H7 virus subtypes can mutate into highly pathogenic forms, which can cause serious illness and death in birds, but not in waterfowl.

Low pathogenic avian influenza

It’s hard to detect LPAI infection because there aren’t many clinical signs.

Symptoms of an infected flock include respiratory distress, diarrhea, a loss of appetite, and a drop in egg production.

Contact your local animal health office if you think your flock has avian influenza.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza

The disease typically presents suddenly, often with a high mortality rate.

Affected birds develop swollen heads, blue combs and wattles, dullness, lack of appetite, respiratory distress, diarrhoea, and a significant drop in egg production.

However, the clinical picture and severity of the disease can vary a lot.

You must contact your local animal health office if you suspect your flock has avian influenza.

If you suspect notifiable diseases, you must notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

A failure to do so is a crime. Keep up with the latest news by signing up for APHA Alerts.

Human health implications

Bird flu can pass to humans, but it’s rare. Infected birds usually need to be very close to humans. You can find out more about bird flu and human health.

Avian Influenza in wild birds

Avian influenza surveillance is done annually by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Public reports and warden patrols are used for this.

Multiple HPAI H5N1 cases have been found in wild birds across Great Britain. The report (updated weekly) of HPAI in wild birds in Great Britain and our outbreak assessments has more details.

Dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, like gulls or birds of prey, should be reported to the Defra helpline: 03459 33 55 77.

Don’t touch or pick up any dead or sick wild birds.

APHA will collect some of these birds and test them to figure out how the disease spreads geographically and among different kinds of birds.

Confirmed cases

In Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, birds have been confirmed with avian influenza.

Cases in Wales

Wales has confirmed the following cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1. Here’s more info and current statuses.

  • near Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire
  • near Arthog, Gwynedd
  • near Welshpool, Montgomeryshire, Powys
  • near Newtown, Montgomeryshire, Powys
  • near Chirk, Wrexham, Wales (backyard chickens and wild birds)
  • near Gaerwen, Isle of Anglesey, Wales
  • near Crickhowell, Powys, Wales

Cases in England which affect Wales

  • near Tattenhall, Cheshire, England
  • near Clifford, Hereford and South Herefordshire, Herefordshire, England
  • near Shropshire, England
  • near Leominster, North Herefordshire, England

Cases in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland

For details of cases in:

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‘Unprecedented’ Number Of Bird Flu Cases in Europe and UK this Summer

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