October 21, 2018

Avian Flu in Canada “Highly Pathogenic”

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has just released a statement saying that testing has confirmed the avian influenza outbreak on two farms in Fraser Valley is the highly pathogenic H5N2 virus. And preliminary testing has bound that two other farms in British Columbia are “presumptive positive” for H5 avian influenza. Those two farms have been quarantined. Those two new farms received birds from one of the original farms that is infected.

Chickens in HenhouseWhen raw poultry is properly handled and cooked, there is no risk to humans. In addition, avian influenza only rarely affects people who do not have consistent contact with infected live birds. Still, cook any poultry thoroughly to 165°F as measured by a food thermometer and be careful to avoid cross-contamiantion between raw poultry and uncooked food.

This subtype of bird flu, H5N2, affects wild and domestic birds. It causes severe illness and death in birds, especially poultry. A low-pathogenic strain of H5N2 caused outbreaks in Manitoba in 2010 and British Columbia in 2009.

The birds on the farms will be humanely euthanized, and the farmers will receive compensation. Poultry farms are “reminded to practice a high level of biosecurity to reduce the risk of disease spread, and report any suspicious symptoms in their flocks to the CFIA.”

 

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