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Food Agency Updates Bird Flu Situation

by 5m Editor
16 February 2009, at 11:30pm

CANADA - In an update dated 14 February, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) gave further information on the outbreak of avian influenza in British Columbia. Forty-five premises are now quarantined.

On 11 February, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced the presence of H5 avian influenza virus in a second commercial poultry operation in southern British Columbia.

All birds on the second infected premises have been humanely destroyed and will be disposed of in accordance with provincial environmental regulations and internationally accepted disease control guidelines.

People are rarely affected by avian influenza, except in a limited number of cases when individuals have been in close contact with infected birds. Nevertheless, public health authorities are taking precautionary measures as warranted. Tests to date indicate the strain of avian influenza virus on the second premises is of low pathogenicity and similar to the original virus identified on the first infected premises. Further testing is underway to confirm the precise pathogenicity, sub-type and strain of the virus.

The CFIA has applied movement restrictions on commercial poultry operations within three kilometres of the second infected premises. This new 3-km radius overlaps the 3-km radius previously established around the first infected premises. The CFIA has placed quarantines on an additional 12 premises as a result. Ten of the new quarantines are within the new 3-km radius and two are for premises that have had some contact with the second infected premises. Surveillance activities will be undertaken of these newly quarantined premises for a minimum of twenty-one days.

The total number of quarantined premises as of 13 February 2009 is 45.

Prior to moving poultry or poultry products off the quarantined premises, birds must be sampled, tested negative and a licence for their movement must be issued by the CFIA.

Poultry owners in the area are encouraged to take an active role in protecting their flocks by enhancing their biosecurity measures, monitoring their flocks regularly and immediately reporting any signs of illness that could be consistent with avian influenza by calling 604-227-1753.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

Further Reading

- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.