Warning after bird flu outbreak

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Council chiefs in St Helens have issued a warning to the borough’s poultry keepers after a case of bird flu was confirmed in Merseyside.

Recent reports have now confirmed that bird or avian flu, a disease that affects birds, has been found in wild birds in Merseyside.

The Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has issued guidance to people who keep poultry requiring them to keep their birds housed under cover and to keep them separate from wild birds.

Anyone who comes across any dead wild waterfowl or other dead wild birds is asked to report this to the DEFRA helpline (03459 33 55 77).

More information is available online at www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu

Public Health England has confirmed that the risks to human health are very low, that bird flu does not pose a risk to food safety and that poultry is safe to eat.

People are considerably more likely to catch the flu strains that affect us every winter. It’s not too late to get the flu vaccination.

Anyone who is eligible for a free flu vaccination who hasn’t yet had it can get the vaccine from their GP or pharmacist.