Officials have detected a strain of high-pathogenic avian influenza in two more BC small poultry flocks.
The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Food said the H5N1 avian influenza virus was recently detected in small poultry herds in Richmond and Kelowna.
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The infected premises have been placed under quarantine by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and producers within a 12-kilometre radius have been notified, the ministry said.
Poultry is believed to have contracted the virus by coming into contact with infected migratory wild birds.
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The virus, which spread to North America, was first detected in B.C. last month at a commercial poultry producer in northern Okanagan. It has since been detected in two other small poultry herds in Kelowna and Kootenz.
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The ministry is urging owners of small or backyard flocks to be vigilant and implement preventive measures to protect their birds.
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Those measures include reducing interaction opportunities for poultry and wild birds, reducing human access to flocks, and promoting cleaning, disinfection, and sanitation of clothing or items entering areas where poultry are kept. .
Owners who believe their birds may have avian influenza are required to call their veterinarian or the nearest CFIA animal health office.
The ministry said infections in wild birds have been confirmed in the Vanderhof, Lac La Hache, Bowen Island and Vancouver areas.
H5N1 rarely causes disease in humans, can cause severe illness and death in birds, especially poultry.
Cases of avian flu in poultry and non-poultry herds have been confirmed in several other provinces, including 23 in Alberta, 21 in Ontario, seven in Saskatchewan and one in Manitoba.
— With files from the Canadian Press
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