Bird flu strain in Jersey can infect humans but risk is low

  • In Science
  • 2022-11-28 18:56:40Z
  • By BBC

A strain of bird flu that is known to infect humans and other animals has been identified in Jersey but the risk is low.

Islanders who come across a sick or dead wild bird on public land are asked not to touch it by Public Health, States Vets and Natural Environment.

A private contractor will be asked to move any dead birds.

Director of Public Health Professor Peter Bradley said the "general chances of becoming infected remain low".

He added: "The strain of bird flu that we have identified in the Island is known to spread to humans and other animals.

"I want to assure Islanders that the general chances of becoming infected remain low.

"However the chance and risk of infection is increased if sick or dead birds are handled without taking precautions."

'Additional distress'

Dog owners and walkers are asked to stay to footpaths and use leads to prevent their pets coming into contact with sick or dead birds.

Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Caroline Terburgh said: "Although the risk to pet dogs from avian influenza is very low, we ask all dog owners and walkers to keep their dogs on a lead where wild birds are known to gather to reduce the chances of them coming into contact with dead or sick birds.

"This will also prevent very unwell birds being put under additional distress."

Islanders who find sick garden birds and pigeons in their own gardens or on private land can report these to the JSPCA.

These birds are not considered at high risk of being infected with bird flu.

Sick birds which are not normally found in gardens - such as birds of prey, owls, swans, geese, ducks, seabirds and gulls - should be reported to the Natural Environment team and not be taken to local veterinary practices or the JSPCA.

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