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H5 Bird Flu Confirmed in Second BC Flock

by 5m Editor
12 February 2009, at 9:14am

CANADA - The H5 avian influenza virus has been found in another commercial poultry flock in southern British Columbia (BC).

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of H5 avian influenza virus in a second commercial poultry operation in southern British Columbia.

People are rarely affected by avian influenza, except in a limited number of cases when individuals were in close contact with infected birds. Nevertheless, public health authorities are taking precautionary measures as warranted.

The flock was tested as part of the surveillance activities within three kilometres of the commercial poultry operation where low pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza was detected on 24 January.

Tests to date indicate that the strain of avian influenza on the new premises is also low pathogenic and similar to the original strain identified on the index premises. Further testing is underway to confirm precise subtype and strain of the virus. Pathogenicity refers to the severity of the illness caused in birds.

All birds on the new infected premises will be humanely euthanized and disposed of in accordance with provincial environmental regulations and internationally accepted disease control guidelines. Once all birds have been removed, the CFIA will oversee the cleaning and disinfection of the barns, vehicles, equipment and tools to eliminate any infectious material that may remain.

In order to limit any potential virus spread, the CFIA is applying movement restrictions on commercial operations within three kilometres of the new infected premises. This new three-kilometre radius around the new infected premises overlaps the three-kilometre radius around the index premises. The CFIA is placing quarantines on an additional 10 premises as a result.

Three farms outside the three-kilometre radius around the first infected premises recently completed a 21-day monitoring period and met the requirements for quarantine release. Thirty-three (33) farms remain under quarantine as a result of the first detection.

Animal health and public health authorities from the Province of British Columbia, local poultry specialists and industry are actively collaborating in this response effort. Everyone involved shares a commitment to work together to contain and eliminate all infected poultry as quickly as possible.

In keeping with international agreements, the CFIA is reporting this new finding to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and international trading partners.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.
- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.