An outbreak of Bird Flu has been found in Cheshire and it has impacted 300 properties in the area.
The focus of many people has been COVID-19 over the last year. The virus has impacted everyday life, strained the NHS and led to an unprecedented death toll.
Previously, other viruses have scared the public. One of them was Bird Flu. The virus has now re-emerged in Cheshire and is causing problems for locals. Fortunately, the bird-based virus is far less dangerous than the current global pandemic.
What has happened?
A farm in Cheshire notified the authorities about an outbreak of Bird Flu. As a result, a 1km restriction zone has been imposed around the area.
According to CheshireLive, several groups have been involved as the issue is addressed. This includes Defra, Public Health England and the Animal and Plant Health Agency and the Cheshire West and Chester Council.
The farm has not been named, but there have been significant changes to its normal operations as they attempt to handle the issue.
Staff at the site, which is home to 4,500 birds, noticed that many of the animals were unwell. After this, the authorities tested the animals and confirmed that they were infected with avian flu.
To combat the virus, the birds are being humanly culled. This will undoubtedly impact the farm negatively, and it is unclear how it will respond after it overcomes this challenge.
In terms of danger to the public, the risk is relatively low.
Cheshire West and Chester Director of Public Health, Ian Ashworth issued a reassuring message about how the virus was being dealt with:
“We are working closely with Public Health England and other partners on this incident.”
“The risk to public health from the virus is very low and avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk. We are working locally to support residents, local business and premises that may be affected.”
Bird keepers in the local area have been asked to take several precautions to ensure the virus does not spread. Firstly, keepers have been asked to be on the lookout for their birds becoming sick. Furthermore, bird owners have been requested to maintain good biosecurity on their premises.
The general public or also receiving advice. Council officers are going door-to-door in the area to explain the situation and the steps being taken.
Furthermore, people are being told to not touch dead or sick wildlife. Instead, they should contact the appropriate authorities.
If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the DEFRA helpline – 03459 33 55 77.
Image via Alamy.