A duck at a British Columbia poultry farm has tested positive for the avian flu virus, but not the form of the virus circulating in Southeast Asia that has been blamed for more than 60 deaths, Canadian officials announced Sunday.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said the infection at the duck and goose farm in Chilliwack, just outside of Vancouver, is different, but that 60,000 birds on the farm will still be destroyed as a precaution.
Veterinarian Cornelius Kiley said the H5 virus found in a commercial duck is a low pathogenic North American strain, which means it doesn't kill poultry.
Federal officials separately reassured Canadians on the weekend that the strain of the flu found in British Columbia and positive test results for the H5N1 avian flu virus found in two wild ducks in Manitoba pose no threat to human health.
On Saturday, officials said the H5N1 avian flu viruses found in the wild ducks is not the dangerous form of the virus circulating in Southeast Asia. Avian flu viruses bearing the same subtype name can vary widely in their ability to cause disease in poultry or pose a human health threat.
Officials announced Friday that they had found a duck with the H5 avian flu virus on the farm in British Columbia. The 60,000 birds on the farm, mostly ducks, will be humanely slaughtered as a precaution while four other farms in the area have been placed under quarantine.
The cull will be in line with a response plan set up after an outbreak of avian flu in the Fraser Valley in 2004 in which about 17 million birds had to be destroyed, AP reports.
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