Avian Influenza in Canada

CANADA - This is follow up report No 5 via OIE on the recent outbreak of Avian Influenza in Canada.
calendar icon 2 April 2004
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Avian Influenza in Canada - CANADA - This is follow up report No 5 via OIE on the recent outbreak of Avian Influenza in Canada.

See also: 19th March 2004, 12th March 2004, 5th March 2004, 27 February 2004, 20 February 2004

Information received on 25 March 2004 from Dr Brian Evans, Executive Director, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Ottawa:

End of previous report period: 13 March 2004 (see Disease Information, 17 [12], 83, dated 19 March 2004).

End of this report period: 25 March 2004.

On 19 March 2004, a third premises (a broiler breeder operation), in the 5-km ‘high-risk region’ of the current avian influenza (AI) outbreak in the province of British Columbia and in close proximity to the second positive location, was identified as potentially infected with the AI virus.

Tests at the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, Winnipeg, Manitoba, found the third British Columbia chicken farm to be infected with the H7 type of AI virus, and the 8,500 birds at the premises were destroyed on 22 March.

The CFIA is continuing its epidemiological investigation with respect to possible links with the other two farms that are known to be infected. Genetic sequencing will be conducted to investigate the similarities of the virus found on the infected farms.

On 23 March, in the same ‘high-risk region’, two additional farms with 8,000 and 30,000 birds respectively were also ordered depopulated, based on clinical signs of AI as well as preliminary laboratory results indicating the presence of an H7 virus.

Altogether, the five farms had approximately 98,000 birds.

It has yet to be determined if the last three premises were infected with a low or high pathogenic virus. Tests are ongoing to further characterize the agent.

In an effort to prevent further spread of the disease, a decision was made on 24 March to pre-emptively slaughter all flocks within the 5-km high-risk region, an additional 275,000 birds.

The ‘control area’, which includes the ‘high-risk region’ (5-km radius) and the surrounding ‘surveillance region’ (10-km radius), was established on 11 March, according to the CFIA policy and based on international standards. It will be in place for 21 days after the last case of AI has been detected and following completion of destruction and disposal of birds and complete disinfection of all infected premises.

Movement of birds and avian products within and out of the ‘control area’ is by permit only. Movement out of the ‘high-risk region’ is strictly controlled, with road blocks and cleaning and disinfection sites established to secure the region. The active surveillance programme continues within a 10-km radius region around the index farm.

The CFIA is working closely with the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada, Health Canada, the British Columbia Provincial Emergency Program, stakeholder groups and other provincial and municipal emergency representatives to control and monitor all aspects of the situation.

Commodity-specific industry meetings and updates are being held to provide information.

Updates on the situation can also be found on the CFIA website.

Source: Office International des Epizooties - 2nd April 2004
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