Bird flu outbreak: First case in East Lancashire confirmed in Ribble Valley

The first case of bird flu in East Lancashire has been confirmed in the Ribble Valley today.
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The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has confirmed that a case has been found at premises near to Clitheroe.

Last week, Lancashire County Council reassured the public that the risk to public health was very low, despite other county-wide cases being detected at a poultry farm near the Fylde village of Salwick and a highly pathogenic virus confirmed at a farm in Salwick on the outskirts of Preston

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The avian influenza has also been detected in Lancashire's wild bird populations

A case of bird flu has been detected in the Ribble ValleyA case of bird flu has been detected in the Ribble Valley
A case of bird flu has been detected in the Ribble Valley

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health for Lancashire County Council, said: "There is no need to be alarmed by the developments.

"The risk to public health from the virus is very low, however it is important that people don’t pick up sick or dead birds as this can spread the virus.

"If you do find any dead swans, geese or ducks or other dead wild birds while out and about, please report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

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"I would also urge bird keepers to be vigilant for any signs of disease. Avian influenza is a notifiable animal disease. If you suspect any type of avian influenza in poultry or captive birds, you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301."

Bird Flu (Avian influenza H5N1) is an infectious type of influenza that spreads among birds and in rare cases, can affect humans.

There are lots of different strains of bird flu virus and most of them do not infect humans.

Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) say plans are in place to manage any suspected outbreaks in Britain.

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Bird flu is a notifiable disease in animals, so you should report any suspected case in animals to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), even if you're not sure.

Call the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) helpline on 03459 33 55 77 if you find dead wild birds.

To prevent infection it is important not to touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find.