- Although a particularly lethal strain of avian flu is sweeping North America and killing millions of chickens, researchers believe the risk of human infection is low.
- Many wild birds carry avian influenza, which can be spread to poultry farms via bird droppings and nasal discharge.
Although a highly dangerous type of bird flu is spreading throughout North America and killing millions of chickens, experts believe the risk of human transmission is low.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in at least 20 commercial and private chicken flocks in Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador since late last year.
Quarantine has been imposed on several farms. The CFIA established two avian control zones in southwestern Ontario to prevent the spread of bird flu.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, poultry outbreaks have been documented in 24 states in the United States, killing almost 23 million hens and turkeys.
The roots of this new round of epidemics, however, are unknown.
During a phone discussion with CTVNews.ca on Thursday, Dr. Shayan Sharif, professor and associate dean at the Ontario Veterinary College, said, “That’s the multi-million-dollar question.” “All we know is that it began in eastern Canada.”
Avian influenza is found in many wild birds and can be transmitted to poultry farms via bird droppings and nasal discharge. According to experts, the virus can spread throughout chicken farms through contaminated equipment, clothing, footwear, and trucks transporting supplies.
Last December, after many days of the unexpected death of birds on a farm on Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula, the first cases of bird flu were verified. In January, a second epidemic was confirmed in the Avalon Peninsula.
By February, the flu had circulated to farms in Nova Scotia and the United States. In Ontario, avian flu was reported in ten flocks between March 27 and April 6.
It’s also one of the busiest seasons for migrating birds at this time of year. The flu, according to Sharif, has the potential to spread to more provinces. While no outbreaks have been observed on farms in Quebec, the province has had three instances of avian flu among Canadian geese.
“Migratory birds have well-defined flight paths. However, they may stray and visit different other sites on occasion. As a result, I wouldn’t be surprised to see if other provinces are affected as well, although hopefully not, “he stated
While no outbreaks have yet been reported in zoos, organizations like the Toronto Zoo have closed public aviaries and increased security in bird enclosures to keep wild birds out.
Source: CTV News
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