POULTRY PRODUCERS and hobbyists are on high alert, keeping a look out for birds infected with the H5N1 flu virus, so here’s a useful reminder on what to look out for.

Typical clinical signs include swelling of the head, a bluish discoloration of the comb and wattles, dullness, lack of appetite, respiratory distress, diarrhoea and drop in egg production.

Birds may often die without any apparent signs of disease. However, there can be considerable variation in clinical signs and severity of the disease.

The virus spreads by direct contact with secretions from infected birds, especially faeces, contaminated feed, water, equipment and clothing.

Broken contaminated eggs may infect chicks in the incubator.