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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:07 am 
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Avian flu outbreak that started in Chilliwack crosses U.S. border
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Most of the western half of Chilliwack is in the CFIA's avian influenza restricted zone.— Image Credit: Paul J. Henderson
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by Paul J. Henderson - Chilliwack Times
posted Dec 18, 2014 at 9:00 AM
The Fraser Valley’s outbreak of avian influenza has now crossed the U.S. border and at least one American expert isn’t impressed with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) response.

Biomedical researcher Henry Niman is concerned the highly pathogenic strain will spread throughout North America as wild birds begin winter migration.

No poultry farms in the U.S. were impacted by Wednesday, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported Tuesday that the H5N2 strain found in Chilliwack, Abbotsford and now Langley has been detected in northern pintail ducks in Lynden, Wash., fewer than 15 kilometres from the Fraser Valley cluster.

“The finding in Whatcom County was quickly reported and identified due to increased surveillance for avian influenza in light of the [highly pathogenic] H5N2 avian influenza affecting commercial poultry in British Columbia, Canada,” said a USDA statement issued Dec. 16.

In addition, a highly pathogenic H5N8 strain was found in Washington in three captive falcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds.

Niman, who is president of Pittsburgh-based Recombinomics, analyzes viral evolution and the spread of disease.

“The wild birds really can’t be controlled, which is why this is a very big deal that could have a serious impact on poultry markets throughout the Americas,” Niman told the Times.

“Poultry farmers throughout North America should be worried.”

Niman says the CFIA is trying to “manage the message” and downplay concerns, releasing information too slowly, something that could have far-reaching consequences.

As of Wednesday morning, the CFIA had reported 10 farms in the Fraser Valley affected by the current outbreak. Approximately 233,800 chickens and turkeys have either died from the illness or been euthanized.

The first farm where avian flu was detected was a broiler breeder with 13,000 birds in Chilliwack, although no other farms in the city have been directly impacted by the outbreak. Eight of the other farms affected are in Abbotsford—three turkey and five broiler breeders.

The latest and the largest is a 53,000 table egg layer farm in Langley.

The CFIA did say Wednesday that the H5N8 was the first time a "Eurasian lineage highly pathogenic H5 virus has caused an outbreak of avian influenza in poultry in North America."

"The appearance of this particular reassortant virus is significant due to its ability to cause high mortality in domestic poultry," a Dec. 17 CFIA statement said.

No H5N2 illness has been reported in humans, but the CFIA said that as a precautionary measure, public health officials are monitoring workers who are exposed to affected poultry.

While the illness is not dangerous to people, and the outbreak is likely to have little or no impact on consumers, the industry is feeling the effects as a three-level disease control zone has been set up in the province. The largest primary control zone covers the entire southern half of the province from Highway 16 south. Then there is a restricted zone from that encompassing an area between three and 10 kilometres away from infected farms. Chilliwack residents may have seen signs identifying this zone on the eastern side of Vedder Road closer to the Vedder River. The highest restrictions are in the “infected” zone, the area within three kilometres from any known infected premises, which in Chilliwack means most of Greendale and Yarrow.

The CFIA did not respond to a request to comment on Niman’s suggestion they have under-reacted to the current outbreak.

“All of this will come out eventually and pretending it isn’t as big as it is doesn’t solve the problem,” Niman said. “Most of the spread will likely be through independent introductions by wild birds, which is very hard to control.”

http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/286246111.html

UPDATE: 11th farm hit with Avian flu, outbreak that started in Chilliwack enters U.S.

by Paul J. Henderson - Chilliwack Times
posted Dec 18, 2014 at 9:00 AM— updated Dec 19, 2014 at 9:11 AM
The Fraser Valley’s outbreak of avian influenza has now crossed the U.S. border and at least one American expert isn’t impressed with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) response.

Biomedical researcher Henry Niman is concerned the highly pathogenic strain will spread throughout North America as wild birds begin winter migration.

No poultry farms in the U.S. were impacted by Wednesday, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported Tuesday that the H5N2 strain found in Chilliwack, Abbotsford and now Langley has been detected in northern pintail ducks in Lynden, Wash., fewer than 15 kilometres from the Fraser Valley cluster.

“The finding in Whatcom County was quickly reported and identified due to increased surveillance for avian influenza in light of the [highly pathogenic] H5N2 avian influenza affecting commercial poultry in British Columbia, Canada,” said a USDA statement issued Dec. 16.

In addition, a highly pathogenic H5N8 strain was found in Washington in three captive falcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds.

Niman, who is president of Pittsburgh-based Recombinomics, analyzes viral evolution and the spread of disease.

“The wild birds really can’t be controlled, which is why this is a very big deal that could have a serious impact on poultry markets throughout the Americas,” Niman told the Times.

“Poultry farmers throughout North America should be worried.”

Niman says the CFIA is trying to “manage the message” and downplay concerns, releasing information too slowly, something that could have far-reaching consequences.

As of Friday morning, the CFIA had reported 11 farms in the Fraser Valley affected by the current outbreak. Approximately 245,600 chickens and turkeys have either died from the illness or been euthanized.

The first farm where avian flu was detected was a broiler breeder with 13,000 birds in Chilliwack, although no other farms in the city have been directly impacted by the outbreak. Eight of the other farms affected are in Abbotsford—three turkey and five broiler breeders.

The 10th and largest was a 53,000 table egg layer farm in Langley on Dec. 13. Then on Dec. 17, a second Langley farm, a 11,800-chicken broiler breeder was added to the list.

The CFIA said Wednesday that the H5N8 was the first time a "Eurasian lineage highly pathogenic H5 virus has caused an outbreak of avian influenza in poultry in North America."

"The appearance of this particular reassortant virus is significant due to its ability to cause high mortality in domestic poultry," a Dec. 17 CFIA statement said.

No H5N2 illness has been reported in humans, but the CFIA said that as a precautionary measure, public health officials are monitoring workers who are exposed to affected poultry.

In response to questions from Niman that the CFIA has not acted quickly enough, a spokesperson said the agency "is committed to sharing new information related to the avian influenza situation in a timely manner. The Agency regularly posts updates to the web via the Infected Premises Table, the Timeline of Events, and online statements."

CFIA agrees that wild birds are a problem since they cannot be controlled, which is why biosecurity on farms plays a "very important role."

"Wild birds are certainly a serious concern regarding the spread of this disease as wild birds are natural reservoirs of influenza viruses and have natural migration pathways," the agency said.

The CFIA has not detected either H5N2 or H5N8 in wild birds anywhere in Canada in 2014.

While the illness is not dangerous to people, and the outbreak is likely to have little or no impact on consumers, the industry is feeling the effects as a three-level disease control zone has been set up in the province. The largest primary control zone covers the entire southern half of the province from Highway 16 south. Then there is a restricted zone from that encompassing an area between three and 10 kilometres away from infected farms. Chilliwack residents may have seen signs identifying this zone on the eastern side of Vedder Road closer to the Vedder River. The highest restrictions are in the “infected” zone, the area within three kilometres from any known infected premises, which in Chilliwack means most of Greendale and Yarrow.

“All of this will come out eventually and pretending it isn’t as big as it is doesn’t solve the problem,” Niman said. “Most of the spread will likely be through independent introductions by wild birds, which is very hard to control.”

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:00 am 
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Hong Kong banned poultry products enter the Greater Vancouver
[2014-12-19]

Newspaper correspondent reports
GVRD outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N2, Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety from the 19th to prohibit GVRD poultry and poultry products, including eggs imported to protect the public health. Food Safety Center, said Hong Kong from January to October this year, more than 7,000 tonnes of frozen poultry meat imports and about 170,000 eggs from Canada.
The center has contacted the Canadian authorities on the incident, and continue to closely monitor the OIE issued a message on the Canadian outbreak of avian influenza, in response to the epidemic development and take appropriate action.
Avian influenza south reached Washington
on the other hand, the recent outbreak in British Columbia's Fraser Valley bird flu, has crossed the US border, US authorities refer to the state of Washington have wild birds were found with the bird flu virus. In addition, US experts believe that the Canadian authorities have reacted too slowly.
According to "The Langley Times" (The Langley Times) reported that although the United States as of Wednesday until the United States has no poultry farms affected by bird flu, but the US Department of Agriculture said Tuesday, in British Columbia Chilliwack Walker (Chilliwack), Awa Roosevelt ( (Abbotsford) and Langley found H5N2 virus, is now less than 15 kilometers away from the Fraser Valley of Washington State Linden (Lynden) of pintail be detected.
In addition, they found that high pathogenic in Washington three Falcons virus H5N8. US biomedical experts宁曼(Henry Niman) fear that as the beginning of migratory wild birds wintering bird flu will spread in North America.宁曼also said that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is too slow in issuing Facts .
As of Wednesday morning, CFIA has confirmed that there are as many as 10 farms by avian influenza, only to be destroyed about 233,800 chickens and turkeys, but the latest affected farm is in Langley.

http://news.singtao.ca/vancouver/2014-1 ... 71287.html

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:34 pm 
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Precautions, vigilance urged for avian influenza
Date Posted: Wednesday, December 24th, 2014
Categories: Department of Agriculture DNREC

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DOVER – Delaware authorities are urging poultry and bird owners to be vigilant in the wake of avian influenza cases reported in Oregon and Washington state.

“Though it’s far away at the moment, we know that avian influenza can spread rapidly,” said Delaware State Veterinarian Dr. Heather Hirst, who heads the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Poultry and Animal Health Section. “Poultry growers and owners of backyard flocks can do their part by taking proper biosecurity precautions to prevent against the spread of the disease.”

There are no immediate public health concerns due to the West Coast cases, and avian influenza does not affect poultry meat or egg products, which remain safe to eat. Delaware’s commercial poultry industry has a strong and active avian influenza surveillance program, and works in close contact with the Delaware Department of Agriculture, the University of Delaware, and other partners.

Avian influenza spreads bird-to-bird through saliva, feces, and other bodily fluids. Since many species of wild waterfowl can carry and shed influenza virus in feces without showing any signs of illness, it is extremely important to make a strong effort to keep domestic birds separated from wild waterfowl and to keep domestic birds off waterways where wild waterbirds live.

“Low pathogenic forms of avian influenza naturally occur in wild birds such as waterfowl, shorebirds and gulls, and in most cases cause no signs of infection or only mild symptoms,” said Rob Hossler, Wildlife Administrator for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. “However, when domestic species and wildlife intermix, occasionally a high pathogenic form can develop which can cause increased mortality to one or both of the groups.”

While the Washington and Oregon strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has not been found in commercial poultry in the United States, Hirst said its detection in a backyard poultry flock and captive gyrfalcons on the West Coast makes monitoring of backyard flocks and other birds extremely important.

“All bird or poultry owners can implement basic biosecurity steps to keep their flocks healthy and safe,” Hirst said. “Reporting sick or dead birds is especially critical to keeping avian influenza from spreading.”

Biosecurity measures recommended by the Delaware Department of Agriculture include isolating birds from visitor and other birds; keeping shoes, tools, equipment, vehicles and cages clean when entering area where birds live; avoiding tracking wild waterfowl feces into domestic bird living areas; avoiding sharing equipment and tools with neighbors; watching for warning signs of disease; and reporting sick or dead birds.

Sick or dead domestic birds, including backyard flocks and commercial poultry, should be reported to the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Poultry and Animal Health Section, (302) 698-4500 or (800) 282-8685 (Delaware only). To report groups of dead or sick waterfowl, shorebirds or gulls, contact DNREC’s Wildlife Section – Wildlife Disease Program, 302-735-3600.

For more information on backyard bird flock biosecurity, visit http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov/.

# # #

Media contact:
Dan Shortridge
Chief of Community Relations
Delaware Department of Agriculture
302-698-4520
daniel.shortridge@state.de.us

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Delaware Department of Agriculture Website

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DNREC's Website

http://news.delaware.gov/2014/12/24/pre ... influenza/

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:16 am 
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Map update
https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit? ... NlIM&hl=en

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:24 pm 
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Federal and state officials are testing wild birds in Washington state to see how far a type of avian influenza has spread.


The Associated Press

SEATTLE — Federal and state officials are testing wild birds in Washington state to see how far a type of avian influenza has spread.

Separate strains of the H5 virus were identified in a wild duck and a captive gyrfalcon in northwest Washington this month. Neither virus has been found in commercial poultry in the U.S.

State officials say the virus poses no apparent threat to humans, but highly pathogenic strains can be deadly to domestic poultry, and rarely, wild birds.

Officials are taking swabs from about 600 ducks and other waterfowl that are taken by hunters, said Don Kraege, with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. They’re focusing in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston and Clark counties.

Kraege said officials want to know what percentage of the birds has it and to get a baseline to see how far the virus spreads.

An avian influenza outbreak earlier this month in British Columbia spread to several poultry farms there and has affected about 245,000 birds, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said on its website.

The state’s two confirmed cases are a captive falcon with the H5N8 strain of avian flu, and a wild duck with the H5N2 strain, similar to the strain found in poultry in British Columbia.

State officials discovered the virus in the pintail duck as they responded to a die-off of wild ducks at Wiser Lake in Whatcom County. A respiratory fungal disease has so far killed about 120 ducks, Kraege said. The duck had the virus but likely died of the fungal disease, he said.

Federal agricultural officials have also confirmed the presence of the H5N8 virus in guinea fowl and chickens in a backyard poultry flock in Winston, Oregon.

State and federal officials advise people — especially commercial poultry operations — to report sick birds and take steps to assure their flocks don’t come into contact with wild birds.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/washington- ... -1.2165395

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:29 am 
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Washington state, feds testing birds for avian flu
The Associated Press /
Published Jan 1, 2015 at 12:02AM

SEATTLE — Federal and state officials are testing wild birds in Washington state to see how far a type of avian influenza has spread.

Separate strains of the H5 virus were identified in a wild duck and a captive gyrfalcon in northwest Washington this month. Neither virus has been found in commercial poultry in the U.S.

State officials say the virus poses no apparent threat to humans, but highly pathogenic strains can be deadly to domestic poultry, and rarely, wild birds.

Officials are taking swabs from about 600 ducks and other waterfowl that are taken by hunters, said Don Kraege, with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. They’re focusing in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston and Clark counties.

Kraege said officials want to know what percentage of the birds has it and to get a baseline to see how far the virus spreads.

An avian influenza outbreak earlier this month in British Columbia spread to several poultry farms there and has affected about 245,000 birds, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said on its website.

The state’s two confirmed cases are a captive falcon with the H5N8 strain of avian flu, and a wild duck with the H5N2 strain, similar to the strain found in poultry in British Columbia.

State officials discovered the virus in the pintail duck as they responded to a die-off of wild ducks at Wiser Lake in Whatcom County. A respiratory fungal disease has so far killed about 120 ducks, Kraege said. The duck had the virus but likely died of the fungal disease, he said.

Federal agricultural officials have also confirmed the presence of the H5N8 virus in guinea fowl and chickens in a backyard poultry flock in Winston, Oregon.

State and federal officials advise people to report sick birds and take steps to assure their flocks don’t come into contact with wild birds.

http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/ ... vian-flu?#

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:40 pm 
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Highly pathogenic bird flu confirmed for first time in wild raptors in Whatcom, Skagit
BY KIE RELYEA
The Bellingham Herald
February 6, 2015

Two hawks in Whatcom and Skagit counties are the first confirmed cases of highly pathogenic bird flu in wild raptors in North America.

The Cooper’s hawk was collected in Whatcom County on Dec. 29 and the red-tailed hawk in Skagit County on Jan. 9. Tests confirmed Jan. 26 that both had the H5N2 strain of bird flu.

Highly pathogenic means the strains can be deadly to domestic chickens and turkeys.

The hawks died of other causes — one struck a power line, the other was preyed on by something else — but a necropsy after their deaths showed that the flu was affecting their organs and other tissue, according to Don Kraege, waterfowl section manager for the Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Still, the findings worry wildlife officials.

“We are concerned about impacts on raptors,” Kraege said. “They typically have smaller population sizes.”

It’s unknown how the hawks got the flu. They usually eat upland birds and small mammals, such as mice, not waterfowl, which are carriers of the virus, according to Kraege.

“We’re not really sure on the pathway, how they got avian influenza,” he said. “I wouldn’t rule it out that they’re eating some waterfowl, but it’s not the primary part of their diet.”

The two raptors were among the hundreds of wild birds that have been sampled to determine how widespread the highly pathogenic bird flu is in the wild. Results are still some weeks out, and will be used to create a plan for follow-up surveillance.

Wild waterfowl carry the flu but don’t show symptoms. So sampling focused primarily on wild ducks, especially the top four killed by hunters: green-winged teals, widgeons, mallards and northern pintails.

Testing was stepped up here after Canadian inspectors first confirmed the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain at two British Columbia poultry farms in the first week of December.

The week after that, fish and wildlife officials tested two birds found dead in Whatcom County. One was a northern pintail duck, which actually died because of aspergillosis, a fungal disease that birds can contract from eating moldy grain in fields and farm yards. But the duck also carried a strain of bird flu similar to the one that caused the outbreak in B.C.

The other was a gyrfalcon used for hunting; it was fed a wild widgeon, a type of duck, by its owner. Testing showed an H5N8 strain of the virus in the gyrfalcon. The bird was one of four captive gyrfalcons fed the widgeon. All died after, but just one was tested.

The gyrfalcon deaths turned wildlife officials’ attention to raptors.

Both the wild pintail and widgeon were traced to the Wiser Lake area.

The initial findings marked the first time wild birds in North America were found to have highly pathogenic bird flu, and raised concerns for domesticated backyard flocks that come into contact with wild birds in Whatcom County and elsewhere in the region.

Then on Jan. 16, a third strain of highly pathogenic bird flu was confirmed in a wild duck in Whatcom County when tests found the H5N1 strain in a green-winged teal killed by a hunter near Sumas.

Bird flu hasn’t been reported in backyard flocks in Whatcom County, although poultry owners are being urged to keep their birds from coming into contact with wild birds.

Officials have said all three strains aren’t dangerous to the general public because none has infected a human being. Still, they advised those who have backyard flocks, for example, to use caution.

Bird flu hasn’t been found in commercial poultry in Washington state or the U.S.

Meanwhile, wildlife officials continue to encourage the public to contact them if they find dead or sick wild birds, especially raptors.

Sick or dead wild birds can be reported by calling 1-800-606-8768.

Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com.

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2015/02 ... rylink=cpy

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