AN avian flu case has been confirmed in Bury by environment bosses.

The highly contagious H5N1 virus, which is deadly to poultry, was discovered at an undisclosed location in the borough and is said to involve a greater crested grebe.

Lesley Jones, the borough’s public health director, said: “I want to reassure residents that the risk to public health from avian flu is very low.

“However, it is important people do not pick up any sick or dead birds to avoid spreading the virus, which can affect humans in rare cases.

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

“I would also urge bird keepers to be vigilant for any signs of disease and report any suspected cases to their nearest Animal and Plant Health Agency.”

Several dead geese have been reported near the Lido at Clarence Park in Bury but there is no evidence yet of any link to the wider avian flu outbreak.

Avian flu is spread via close contact with infected fowl, but is understand that the health risk to humans is very low, although it can be dangerous to dogs.

Since November 3, an Avian Influenza Zone (AIPZ), enforced by Defra, has been in place across the UK after the discovery of a strain amongst small poultry in Warwickshire.

On November 11, the virus was found in an animal sanctuary at Kirby Cross, Essex, and has gone on to spread around the country.

Bird flu cases have now also been reported in Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Essex, North Yorkshire and Derbyshire.