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Bird flu strain that forced huge culls in Europe found in Peregrine Falcon in Limerick

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peregrine falcon

peregrine falcon

peregrine falcon

A strain of bird flu that has forced European countries to cull hundreds of thousands of birds has been found in a Peregrine Falcon in Limerick.

The department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine confirmed the H5N8 strain of avian influenza was found in the wild bird in county Limerick.

Further tests are being carried out to determine whether the virus is the same highly pathogenic strain that is currently present in Great Britain, the Netherlands and Germany.

The results of these tests will not be available until late next week, the Department said.

No human infections with this virus have been reported worldwide and therefore risk to humans is considered to be very low, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has said.

The virus can pose a major financial burden on countries, though.

Farms in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany have been forced to swiftly cull hundreds of thousands of chickens and dead birds due to the spread of the virus.

Health experts advise not touching sick or dead birds but animals or eggs containing the virus are safe to eat, once cooked thoroughly.

The Department remains in close contact with industry stakeholders and reiterates that strict biosecurity measures are necessary to prevent the introduction of avian influenza into poultry and captive bird flocks.

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

It is believed the H5N8 strain made its way to Europe aboard birds that had migrated from Russia.

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