AUTHORITIES have put measures in place after a case of Bird Flu was confirmed in Cheshire.

Residents are reassured that the risk to the public remains very low, following the discovery of avian influenza H5N1 at premises near Mouldsworth.

Avian Influenza is a disease which mainly affects birds, but on rare occasions it can affect mammals, including humans.

Consequently, Cheshire West and Chester Council, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Animal and Plant Health Agency and the UK Health Security Agency have ordered measures to help prevent this from happening.

This will include a 3km protection zone and a 10km surveillance zone.

The zones restrict access to locations where birds are kept and impose restrictions on the movement of birds. They do not limit access to residents or business owners.

The protection and surveillance zones are now in force and will remain in place until it is withdrawn or amended by Defra.

Ian Ashworth, director of public health for Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “The risk to public health is very low, so residents do not need to be alarmed by this development.

“It is important however that people do not pick up sick or dead birds as this can spread the virus.

“If you do find any distressed swans, geese, ducks or other dead wild birds while out and about, please report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

“I am also urging bird keepers to keep an eye out for any signs of disease. You must report suspected cases to the nearest Animal and Plant Health Agency office by calling 03000 200 301.”

Avian Influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public’s health is very low, however anyone who is concerned should call NHS 111 or speak to their GP.