The Department of Agriculture and Food in Australia's state of Perth on Tuesday announced it had found strains of the bird flu among ducks on a property located off the north east. The good news is, the threat poses no risks to human health.
The duck which was diagnosed with low pathogenic H5 avian influenza has been described as a backyard duck. Still, the department took measures to destroy about 100 ducks and chickens that had contact with the sick bird to prevent further spread and contamination of the virus, although the discovered strain is less serious compared with the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus bird flu that swept through Asia.
"The Department of Health advises that low pathogenic avian influenza poses no known serious threat to human health,'' Michelle Rodan, department livestock biosecurity director, said.
"Once the virus was confirmed, 71 ducks and chickens originating from the property were humanely euthanased as required under national protocols.
"The ducks and chickens had been moved to a second property north of Perth, where a further 24 ducks and chickens were located. These were also euthanased.''
The department continues to monitor other birds in the Perth area.
It likewise reminded bird owners to restrict contact between per birds and poultry from wild birds, as well as always maintain aviaries clean.
Although Perth and Western Australia had never been known to register low pathogenic avian influenza in a domesticated bird before, Dr Rodan said annual surveillance of wild waterbirds throughout Australia have shown that avian influenza circulates in low levels in these populations.
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