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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:29 pm 
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CFIA has released a statement on H5N2 sequences, confirming that the H5 is Eurasian (Fujian) and the N2 is North American, but it doesn't say the ration is 5 to 3 as cited in the Dec 12 OIE report, raising the possibility that multiple combinations have been found (and CFIA has still not reported any H5N8 poultry outbreaks).

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:31 pm 
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Virus Sequencing
December 17, 2014

Scientists at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (NCFAD) have confirmed that the virus detected in BC poultry is highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N2. This virus contains gene segments from the highly pathogenic Eurasian H5N8 virus, including the H5 gene, and segments from typical North American viruses, including the N2 gene.

This is 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. The CFIA continues to take swift action in response to this virus.

While there are no reports of H5N2 related illness in humans, as a precautionary measure public health officials are monitoring workers who are exposed to affected poultry.

Wild bird testing conducted to date has not yet detected this strain in Canada. Further studies to evaluate the risk to wild birds are being undertaken.

Poultry farmers are encouraged to protect their flocks by employing strict biosecurity measures on farm, and immediately reporting suspicious symptoms to the CFIA.

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/ter ... 8831451437

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:36 pm 
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Farmers think migratory birds spreading avian influenza

By TYLER OLSEN
December 17, 2014 · 8:57 AM
3 Comments

A restricted zone put in place around farms affected by avian influenza now covers much of the Eastern Fraser Valley. / CANADIAN FOOD INSPECTION AGENCY
While the source of the avian influenza virus that has infected several local farms still hasn’t been confirmed, local farmers believe wild birds are the most likely culprit, according to the president of the BC Chicken Growers’ Association (BCCGA).

On Monday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced that an egg-laying operation in Langley had become the 10th farm to be affected by the outbreak of the “highly pathogenic” H5N2 virus. A total of 233,800 birds have now either died from the outbreak, or been ordered euthanized.

On Tuesday, officials in Washington State said avian influenza had been found in a pintail duck and a gyrfalcon in Whatcom county, which borders Canada.

BCCGA president Ravi Bathe, who runs a 90,000-bird broiler chicken operation in Abbotsford, said farmers have been doing their utmost to stop the virus from spreading.

“The farmers are doing everything they can and sometimes it’s out of their control,” he said Tuesday morning. “This is coming through the migratory bird population, we think, and what are you going to do? ... we need ventilation, we need air to get in the barns.”

In a report to the World Organization for Animal Health, the CFIA wrote: “the H5N2 virus detected in B.C. contains five of eight gene segments from highly pathogenic Eurasian H5N8 virus including the H5 gene and three of eight segments from typical North American viruses including the N2 gene (wild bird origin).”

Earlier in the week, in an email to the News, the CFIA said that the specific strain currently affecting Abbotsford farms has not been detected in wild birds in Canada, although surveillance and testing continues.

http://www.aldergrovestar.com/news/2861 ... obile=true

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:48 pm 
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December 12 OIE:

Epidemiological comments
Four (4) additional outbreaks were confirmed since the previous report. All outbreaks are located in the same small area in the province of British Columbia.
Depopulation of all infected premises is underway, with appropriate cleaning and disinfection, under the supervision of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
The CFIA National Center for Foreign Animal Disease confirms that the novel H5N2 virus detected in BC contains 5 of 8 gene segments from highly pathogenic Eurasian H5N8 virus including the H5 gene and 3 of 8 segments from typical North American viruses including the N2
gene (wild bird origin)
.

http://www.oie.int/wahis_2/public%5C..% ... 184133.pdf

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:38 pm 
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Avian flu outbreak that started in Chilliwack crosses U.S. border
Image
Most of the western half of Chilliwack is in the CFIA's avian influenza restricted zone.— Image Credit: Paul J. Henderson
0
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

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:10 am 
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
niman wrote:
Avian flu outbreak that started in Chilliwack crosses U.S. border
Image
Most of the western half of Chilliwack is in the CFIA's avian influenza restricted zone.— Image Credit: Paul J. Henderson
0
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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