NEIGHBOURS in a Newcastle community have begun to receive letters warning them about an outbreak of bird flu in the area. 

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is circulating the letter in Byker to the east of the city.

The outbreak follows reports of earlier outbreaks Whitby, North Yorkshire and Blaydon, Gateshead.

The Northern Echo:

Read more: Dozen cases of bird flu in North Yorkshire

In January Ouseburn Farm, in Newcastle, was forced to close its doors after tests showed traces of avian flu.

The Defra letter to Byker residents says: "The avian influenza strain in this outbreak presents a low reisk to human health but is highly pathogenic for birds, meaning they can catch and spread the disease easily."

People with poultry, such as chicken and ducks or geese, game birds pigeons or other birds need to take action. The letter goes on to explain what to do.

Residents who do not  have birds are urged to report any dead while birds by contacting the Defra helpline on 03459 335577.

Defra have been contacted for more information.

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