Saturday, November 26, 2005

News - Health | canada.com - Officials cautiously optimistic after no further detection of avian flu

Officials are keeping a close watch on birds at poultry farms in the Fraser Valley after containing a low-pathogenic variety of H5 avian flu among ducks at two area farms, a veterinarian with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Friday.

"Low-pathogenic viruses have been known to mutate into more concerning, highly pathogenic versions if introduced into chicken and turkey populations," Dr. Con Kiley told a news conference.

Over 4,500 birds have been harvested from area farms but the low-pathogenic virus has not spread from the two infected farms, Kiley said.

He stressed that the low-path virus is different from the virulent outbreak among birds in Southeast Asia, which has led to the deaths of more than 60 people.

Over 62,000 ducks and geese have now been culled from the two farms where the virus was discovered in the last week. They are being composted on site before authorities begin to disinfect the area.

Health | canada.com

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