Turkey rhinotracheitis spreading in Canada

15 flocks in two provinces have had positive cases.

Roy Graber Headshot
Turkey Single
Courtesy Iowa Turkey Federation

About two weeks after Canada reported it had two Ontario flocks affected by turkey rhinotracheitis, 13 more flock infections in two provinces have been reported. 

A May 29 report from the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) revealed that 12 flocks in Ontario and one in Manitoba had either turkeys or chickens test positive for the virus. However, the number of birds to test positive in these 13 new flocks is less than that of the two flocks identified in the May 14 report.  

Three of the newly affected flocks were in Middlesex County. Between those three flocks, 40 of a total 45,000 susceptible birds tested positive. 

In Perth County, two flocks had positive cases. One of the affected flocks had 5,000 turkeys and the other had 12,000 chickens. Each flock had two birds test positive. 

Three Ontario counties had two flocks with positive detections, but only one bird in each flock was confirmed as a positive case. In Oxford County, one flock of 13,000 turkeys and another of 15,000 chickens each had one bird test positive. Waterloo County also had two turkeys test positive. One of those was from a flock of 1,200, while the other was from a flock of 3,300. Two flocks in Huron County also had a positive detection. Both of those flocks included 15,000 turkeys. 

Hastings County had five birds in a flock of 35,000 test positive. 

In the only case to date in Manitoba, three turkeys in a flock of 15,000 tested positive. 

The two earlier confirmed cases in Canada were in Wellington County and Bruce County, where 166 and 87 birds, respectively died. No deaths were reported among the 13 most recently reported flock infections. 

WOAH stated that no control measures have been implemented nationally. 

According to information from Select Genetics, turkey rhinotracheitis is a highly infectious virus that causes acute respiratory disease and is also a potent immune system suppressor. 

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