Saturday, November 26, 2005

News - - Atlantic wild birds have H5 avian flu

Officials confirmed yesterday that 35 wild birds sampled in the Maritimes tested positive for H5 avian influenza viruses, but said they did not believe any were carrying the virulent H5N1 strain decimating poultry flocks in Asia and entering in Europe.

The infected birds, mostly black ducks and mallards, were found in an area around the Tantramar marshes near the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border. One positive case was found in Prince Edward Island.

All the Atlantic birds were said to be in good health, leading scientists to believe they were not carrying the strain that has killed at least 68 people overseas and led governments to cull millions of domestic chickens and ducks.

"I don't call it a concern whatsoever," Dr. Pierre-Yves Daoust of the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown said yesterday.

"These are still preliminary results but 35 of them were positive." - Atlantic wild birds have H5 avian flu


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