One of the swans who died in a Blackpool park has tested positive for bird flu, it has been confirmed.
Three swans have died in Stanley Park after showing symptoms of the disease, also known as bird flu.
The Blackpool Council says a total of 15 birds died with similar symptoms and confirmed that one of the swans carried the disease.
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A cordon was erected after the birds died and while the park is still open, people are asked not to approach the lakeside.
Bird flu is a disease that primarily affects birds, but on rare occasions it can affect mammals, including humans.
As a result, several precautionary measures have been put in place around the various areas where it has been identified in Lancashire and Cumbria – including a 3km protection zone, a 10km surveillance zone and culling without cruelty to birds at risk of infection.
A spokesperson for the Blackpool Council said: “Sadly, one of the swans who died in Stanley Park last week tested positive for bird flu.
“Unfortunately, 15 birds have now died with similar symptoms.
“We know that many people love to visit Stanley Park and will find this news upsetting. We can assure you that the birds are well fed and we are watching them closely.
“Although the risk to the health of the general public is very low, it is vitally important that park visitors follow the signage in place.”
Over the past week, disease control zones have been put in place in Kirkham, Preston, South Ribble, Wyre, Fylde and Copeland in Cumbria.
The Cumbrian case has been confirmed by the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the most serious and often fatal type in birds. However, the risk to public health remains “very low”.
The Blackpool council has issued advice to those visiting Stanley Park, including respecting the cordon and not walking by the lake or dogs in the water. He also warned people not to touch any injured or dead birds.
The spokesperson added: “Thank you to everyone who offered their support and assistance. Our team has been specially trained and has the appropriate PPE to handle birds to minimize risk.
We will continue to keep you updated and lift the cord once it is safe to do so. “
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