Birmingham has issued a stern warning to members of the public after the bird flu outbreak in the city.
People have been warned not to touch sick or dead birds after DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) confirmed avian influenza A (H5N1) in wild bird population .
Bird flu has been confirmed in two of the city’s parks, Cannon Hill Park in Edgbaston and Witton Lake in Erdington – both of which are found in Canadian geese populations.
read more : ’80 swans and swans die as tragedy dies in Cannon Hill Park
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and Birmingham City Council are urging people not to touch any sick or dead wild birds in the area.
Officials said they are working with APHA and the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to ‘manage the situation and protect the public health and risk to other birds, wildlife and pets.
A (H5N1) strain is ‘highly pathogenic’ or infectious to poultry and other birds but ‘the risk to human health is considered very low’.
However, despite the low risk, officials said it is ‘important’ that people do not touch sick wild birds or carcasses of wild birds. They are also warned not to touch droppings, eggs or bedding.
And if they do, or are, ‘infection control measures may be necessary’.
Angela Cartwright, consultant in Communicable Disease Control with UKHSA in the West Midlands, said: “The risk to the public from this strain of avian flu is very small.
“It is a contagious virus that spreads between 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.”
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She continued: “Therefore, it is very important that you do not touch any sick or dead wild birds that you may find. Similarly, you should not touch their droppings, eggs or bedding.
“As a precaution, anyone who has been in contact with birds or droppings in an area where infection has been confirmed may require antiviral medication and close monitoring for 10 days from the last contact with infected birds. “
Clare John O’Shea, cabinet member for Street Scene and Parks at Birmingham City Council, said: “This is a very serious situation, so we are asking people to follow guidance on how to use our parks and open spaces safely. urge to do.
“This will help reduce the risk to both wildlife and people, including our park staff.
“The Council and partner agencies are working closely on the response to this outbreak, which follows others in different parts of the country – and doing whatever needs to be done to address and control the situation. will continue to do so.”
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Anyone who has been in contact with sick or dead birds or their droppings needs to make sure their shoes are properly cleaned and wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water.
They should then contact the UKHSA’s West Midlands Health Protection Team on 0344 225 3560 so that public health experts can determine whether antiviral medication and active monitoring of their condition is necessary.
Dead wild waterfowl (goose, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey in the city, can be reported to the Birmingham City Council team on 0121 454 7810.
Sick or injured birds can also be reported to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
Dead wild birds outside Birmingham can be reported to the DEFRA helpline on 03459 335 577.
Following several bird flu outbreaks in Great Britain, the Chief Veterinary Officers of England, Scotland and Wales declared an Avian Influenza Containment Zone (AIPZ) across Great Britain to reduce the risk of disease spreading between poultry and captives. has done. Bird.
The government has also introduced mandatory housing measures for all poultry and other captive birds in the UK to limit the spread of avian influenza. Anyone who keeps poultry or caged birds should also take extra precautions which include
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