Highly infectious strain of avian flu discovered in Alberta, Ontario poultry

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says bird flu has been found in Alberta poultry flocks and there are some new cases in Ontario.

The agency says the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian flu was confirmed Wednesday in two poultry flocks in Mountain View County and one flock in Ponoka County in Alberta.

There were also new cases confirmed in poultry flocks in the City of Markham, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, and Prince Edward County in Ontario.

The agency says in a release Thursday that the infected premises have been placed under quarantine, there is an investigation, and it will be establishing movement control measures on other farms within these areas.

It says these cases have been reported to the World Organization for Animal Health.

The agency says avian influenza is not a significant public health concern for healthy people who are not in regular contact with infected birds.

It says the cases serve as a strong reminder that avian influenza is spreading across the world and that anyone with farm animals must practice good biosecurity habits to protect poultry and prevent disease.

Bird flu cases in poultry and non-poultry flocks have previously been reported in recent months in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The most recent bird flu outbreak began last year in Europe and has since spread to the United States and Canada, devastating some commercial farms with its very high mortality rate.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 7, 2022

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