Bird flu has been confirmed on the Isle of Wight, the local authority has confirmed this afternoon (Wednesday).
A wild swan found deceased at Ryde Canoe Lake has tested positive for H5N8 avian flu, meaning the influenza has now reached the Island.
Avian influenza can be deadly to birds but has little direct impact on humans. Public Health England advises that the risk to public health is very low, and the Food Standards Agency has said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.
As previously reported by Island Echo, 7 swans have been found dead at the canoe lake over the past 2 weeks – 4 in the past 2 days alone. Each reported death has been investigated by the council but in only 1 case was the dead bird still present. That bird was securely stored and reported to DEFRA.
As a precaution, footpaths around Ryde Canoe Lake will now be closed off. Police have implemented a cordon in the area this lunchtime.