Bird flu confirmed in western Canada
An apparently low pathogenic strain of the bird flu has been detected on a turkey farm in western Canada, Xinhua reported referring to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
The agency confirmed "the presence of H5 avian influenza (AI) virus" in the farm located in Fraser Valley of British Columbia province, where avian flu has been discovered in recent years.
Further testing is underway to assess the precise strain of the virus, but preliminary tests indicated that it was low pathogenic, the agency said.
"Tests to date indicate that the strain of AI in this case is low pathogenic," said the CFIA.
To limit the virus from spreading, more than 50,000 birds "on the infected premises will be humanely euthanized and disposed of," the agency said.
Twenty-three farms within a 3-km radius of the turkey farm are under quarantine as officials do further blood check from the turkeys for confirmation.
"Nobody has been infected by the virus," said Elizabeth Brodkin, medical officer of the Fraser Health Authority.
According to the World Health Organization, 252 people have died from the H5N1 strain of the bird flu since 2003.
Following an outbreak of the H7N3 strain of the bird flu, 17 million birds were slaughtered in the Fraser Valley in February 2004.