Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Bird flu outbreak 'not H5N1 strain'

Tests have confirmed that the bird flu outbreak in Cork is not the deadly strain that is dangerous to humans

An outbreak of bird flu in west Cork is not the deadly strain that threatens human health, final tests have confirmed.

Fears the avian influenza virus found in a flock of pheasants at a Clonakilty gun club could be the lethal H5N1 strain can now be ruled out, agriculture chiefs said.

A 1km restriction zone had been thrown up around the premises last week and the infected game birds were slaughtered while tests were carried out.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced final laboratory results confirmed it was a low pathogenic strain of the virus which posed no risk to public health.

"In addition, laboratory results from a broiler flock in the same area tested negative for avian influenza indicating that the virus has not spread," a spokesman said.

The findings of further tests on pheasants found in the Barryroe area of West Cork are to be made available in the coming days.

Those birds have also been slaughtered as a precautionary measure and biosecurity measures have been put in place there.

The department said there is no concern relating to the consumption of poultry or poultry products and there are no restrictions on poultry movements outside the 1km restriction zones in Cork.

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