Dr Kenneth Beatty told the Limerick Voice that people should avoid ‘coming into contact with wild birds who are dead or appear sick’
By Erin Lally
The Department of Public Health Mid-West has urged the public to avoid touching or coming
into contact with ill or dead wild birds, to prevent the transmission of avian influenza in
people following the detection of the disease among seagulls in Limerick.
Dr Kenneth Beatty, a specialist in Public Health Medicine, told the Limerick Voice, “The Department was recently notified of cases of Avian Influenza (also known as Bird Flu) in a series of black-headed seagulls in Limerick.
“While the risk of transmission of bird flu from birds to humans is very low, we are advising people
against handling or coming into contact with wild birds that are dead or who appear sick, in
order to reduce the risk of any possible bird flu infection in humans.”
The department is liaising with Department of Agriculture officials in the wake of this news. They assure that there has been no known public interaction with these birds as of now.
Public health officials advise that if you see dead wild birds or poultry, contact a Regional Veterinary Office or call the Avian Influenza Hotline at 01 607 2512, or 01 492 8026 outside of office hours.
Human avian influenza infection is extremely rare, however, if contracted it can be fatal. Limerick people are also advised to avoid bird feathers as well as other bird debris, and to wash hands with soap and warm water on a regular basis and apply an alcohol-based hand gel.
The public has also been warned to keep pets away from ill, dying, or dead poultry or wild birds.
Find out more about Bird Flu.