The presence of avian influenza has been confirmed in Nova Scotia, making it the second Canadian province where the virus has been detected.

The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables issued a press release on February 1, stating that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that a goose in the Grand Desert area of the Halifax Regional Municipality tested positive. The agency did not identify the serotype of the virus found.

Nova Scotia officials are collaborating with the federal government and other agencies to monitor and respond to the avian influenza situation, according to the press release.

“Avian influenza poses little risk to people, but the virus is highly infectious and potentially deadly in wild and domestic birds. We urge the public to avoid feeding or handling wild birds like ducks, geese, pheasants, pigeons and gulls to prevent disease spread,” stated Bob Petrie, the province’s director of Wildlife, Natural Resources and Renewables. 

Petrie advised the public to not not handle live, sick or dead wild birds. People should contact his department at +1.800.565.2224 to report sick or dead birds.

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This confirmed case in Nova Scotia follows earlier confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador. Those cases included an exhibition farm, a backyard flock and wild birds in city parks.

Avian influenza in the United States

While Canada is dealing with the avian influenza situation, there have also been confirmed cases of HPAI in the United States. The virus has been found in hunter-harvested birds in three states: South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

North Carolina has been where most of the birds have tested positive to date with 53. This first confirmed case of HPAI in the United States in 2022 occurred in Colleton County, South Carolina.

View our continuing coverage of the global avian influenza situation.