Health

Stark warning issued as hen flu outbreak confirmed in Birmingham

A stark warning has been issued to members of the general public in Birmingham after a hen flu outbreak within the metropolis.

People have been warned to not contact sick or lifeless birds after DEFRA (Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) confirmed avian influenza A(H5N1) within the wild hen inhabitants.

Bird flu has been confirmed in two parks within the metropolis, Cannon Hill Park in Edgbaston and in Witton Lakes in Erdington – each discovered within the Canadian geese inhabitants.

Read extra : Tragedy as ’80 swans and geese die’ die at Cannon Hill Park

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and Birmingham City Council are urging folks to not contact any sick or lifeless wild birds within the space.

The authorities mentioned they had been working with the APHA and the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to ‘to manage the situation and protect public health and the risk to other birds, wildlife and pets’.

The A(H5N1) pressure is ‘highly pathogenic’ or contagious to poultry and different birds however the ‘risk to human health is considered very low’.



Dead and dying swans and Canadian geese at Cannon Hill Park.
An RSPCA officer takes away a sick Canadian goose.
Dead and dying swans and Canadian geese at Cannon Hill Park. An RSPCA officer takes away a sick Canadian goose.

However, regardless of the low threat, the authorities mentioned it was ‘vital’ folks don’t contact sick wild birds or wild hen carcasses. They are additionally warned to not contact droppings, eggs or bedding.

And in the event that they do, or have, ‘infection control measures may be necessary’.

Angela Cartwright, marketing consultant in Communicable Disease Control with the UKHSA within the West Midlands, mentioned: “The risk to the public from this strain of avian flu is very low.

“This is an infectious virus which spreads among birds and it is very unusual for humans to be affected.

“However, it is possible for humans to catch the virus through close contact with an infected bird, dead or alive.”

Read more : Bird flu disease control zone signs after ‘outbreak’

She continued: “Therefore, it is very important that you do not touch any sick or dead wild birds you may find. Equally, you must not touch their droppings, eggs or bedding.

“As a precaution, anyone who has been in contact with the birds or droppings in an area where the infection has been confirmed may require a course of antiviral medication and close monitoring for 10 days from last contact with infected birds.”



A dead Canadian goose lies in the water at Cannon Hill Park.
A lifeless Canadian goose lies within the water at Cannon Hill Park.

Cllr John O’Shea, cupboard member for Street Scene and Parks at Birmingham City Council, mentioned: “This is a very serious situation, so we would urge people to follow the guidance on how to safely use our parks and open spaces.

“This will help reduce risk to both wildlife and people, including our parks staff.

“The council and partner agencies are working closely on the response to this outbreak, which follows others in various parts of the country – and will continue doing whatever needs to be done to address and control the situation.”

Read extra : Bird flu alert at Worcestershire magnificence spot as UK tackles ‘largest outbreak’

Anyone who has been involved with sick or lifeless birds or their droppings wants to verify their footwear is correctly cleaned and to completely wash their fingers with cleaning soap and water.

They ought to then contact the UKHSA’s West Midlands Health Protection Team on 0344 225 3560 in order that public well being specialists can decide if antiviral medicine and energetic surveillance of their situation is important.

Dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or geese) or different lifeless wild birds, akin to gulls or birds of prey, within the metropolis will be reported to the Birmingham City Council staff on 0121 454 7810.

Sick or injured birds may also be reported to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

Outside of Birmingham lifeless wild birds will be reported to the DEFRA helpline on 03459 335 577.

Following various hen flu outbreaks throughout Great Britain, the Chief Veterinary Officers from England, Scotland and Wales have declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) throughout the entire of Great Britain, to mitigate the chance of the illness spreading amongst poultry and captive birds.

The Government has additionally launched obligatory housing measures for all poultry and different captive birds to restrict the unfold of avian influenza within the UK. Anyone who retains poultry or captive birds also needs to take further precautions together with

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