The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza at a non-commercial farm in Chilliwack, British Columbia. This marks the first confirmation of H5N1 avian influenza in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley, as all previous cases of avian influenza have been of the H5N2 serotype.
The infected premises is under quarantine, and depopulation of the affected birds has been completed, and disposal measures are underway.
While this is the first time the H5N1 strain of the virus has been detected during the current avian influenza outbreak in British Columbia's Fraser Valley, the H5N1 strain was found in wild birds in the U.S. state of Washington, directly south of British Columbia, in January.
This new infected premises serves as a reminder that risks for new infections remain a concern. Monitoring and surveillance activities continue to be a very important part of controlling this outbreak. It is important that all bird owners have good biosecurity measures in place to protect their flocks from infection, the CFIA stated.
Strict surveillance will continue in the area for 90 days after the last cleaning and disinfection is done to the satisfaction of the CFIA. If no additional cases of avian influenza are found within this period, the zone can be considered free of avian influenza.