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A New Bird Flu Strain Is Identified In BC & Some People Within 12 km Are Told To Be 'Vigilant'

The infected premises has been placed under quarantine.

Western Canada Editor
Chickens in a farm. Right: A person in a hazardous materials white outfit holds a black bag.

Chickens in a farm. Right: A person in a hazardous materials white outfit holds a black bag.

A small backyard poultry flock in Kelowna is the latest to test positive for a new strain of bird flu, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed.

The H5N1 avian influenza virus has been sweeping across Canada and its first cases in B.C. were identified on April 13 when a poultry farm in north Okanagan was placed under quarantine after the virus was detected in its flock, according to the CFIA.

Now, another poultry flock in Kelowna has tested positive for the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The premises has been placed under quarantine and poultry producers within a 12-kilometre radius have been notified.

Avian influenza, more commonly known as bird flu, can be fatal for food producing birds like chickens as well as pet birds and wild birds. It can also be passed on to humans through close contact with infected birds or heavily contaminated environments, according to the CFIA.

In a statement released by B.C.'s Ministry of Agriculture and Food, it said, "Owners of small or backyard flocks are urged to continue to be vigilant and have appropriate preventative measures in place.

"Measures include eliminating or reducing opportunities for poultry to encounter wild birds, reducing human access to the flock, and increased cleaning, disinfection, and sanitization of all things (including clothing and footwear) when entering areas where flocks are housed."

The ministry also said that a sample from a bald eagle found in Delta tested positive for bird flu. It is the second bald eagle to have tested positive, after another was found in Vancouver in February.

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