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Bird Flu kills 30 birds at Roath Park Lake

An outbreak of avian flu has killed more than 30 birds at Roath Park Lake since it was first identified.

Although the virus poses a low risk to people, Public Health Wales and Cardiff Council continue to advise the public to not hand-feed the birds and say it “remains critical” not to touch sick or dead birds.

The presence of the H5N1 virus in the bird population at the lake was confirmed following tests on the body of a greylag goose, handed into park wardens on February 24th.

Avian influenza is not unusual and is most common during the winter when it can be passed on by migrating birds arriving in the UK. It spreads from bird to bird by direct contact or through contaminated body fluids and faeces. It can also be spread by contaminated feed and water, or by dirty vehicles, clothing and footwear.

Findings of avian flu in wild birds have also been confirmed recently at other locations in south Wales including Knap Lake in Barry, and there are signs up at Lamby Lake (Parc Tredelerch) instructing visitors not to feed or touch the birds.

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 Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) on 03459 33 55 77. Any visibly sick birds should also be reported via this number.

Public Health Wales advice regarding Avian Influenza

The risk of avian flu to the general public is extremely low. Currently there is no evidence that this strain detected in the UK can spread from person to person, but we know that viruses evolve all the time and that is why we have robust systems in place to detect these early and take action and continue to monitor the situation closely.

It remains critical that people do not touch sick or dead birds, and that they follow the DEFRA advice about reporting cases.

Public Health Wales follows up all individuals who have been in contact with a confirmed case (incident) of avian influenza. For those with the highest risk exposures, we contact them daily to see if they have developed symptoms so that we can take appropriate action.

People are also offered anti-viral treatment after exposure to infected birds. This is to stop the virus reproducing in their body if they have picked it up and should prevent them from becoming unwell. It also helps reduce the risk of passing the infection on to others.

Avian flu, also known as bird flu, is a type of influenza that spreads among birds. The UK has recently seen a large number of outbreaks and incidents of avian influenza in birds across the country of the H5N1 strain and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and Wales’ Chief Veterinary Officer have issued alerts to bird owners.

More information for bird owners is available here.

Inksplott