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Outbreaks Of H5N1 In Canada


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recently issued a summary of outbreaks of H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza to the World Organization of Animal Health (WOAH).  According to a posting on September 20th, 65 infected farms have been depleted and are undergoing depletion and decontamination.  Sixty-six farms previously infected have been released from quarantine and are presumably being restocked. 


To date, 2,363,000 commercial poultry of diverse species have been depopulated with 43 outbreaks in the Province of Alberta involving 1,075,000 birds.  The second highest number of depopulations occurred in Ontario, with 27 outbreaks involving 561,000 birds.  Nine provinces, from the Maritimes to British Columbia, have reported cases.


It is presumed that recent cases are attributable to dissemination of virus by both migratory and domestic birds.  The extent of infection is noted in the isolation of the virus previously from foxes and seals.  The most recent report of an infection in mammals involved a bear in the Province of Quebec that was euthanized following demonstration of neurologic signs. An H5N1 virus was isolated and encephalitis confirmed by histopathology.