Thursday, September 27, 2007

Canada Reports H7N3 Bird Flu Outbreak


# 1139



The good news is, this isn't H5N1.   The bad news is, it's another bird flu virus popping up, something that seems to be happening at an increasing rate around the globe these past few years. 



A few months ago, we saw outbreaks of the H7N2 virus in England in poultry, along with a small number of human infections.


In 2004, two cullers experienced conjunctivitis and headaches, and tested positive for the H7N3 virus after  an outbreak among poultry in British Columbia.   They recovered fully.  17 Million birds were culled in that incident.


In the spring of 2003, there were 89 confirmed human cases of H7N7 influenza stemming from an outbreak in poultry in the Netherlands, with one fatality. 


While the H7 family of avian flu viruses aren't thought to be as virulent or as deadly as the H5N1 virus, they do have some pandemic potential.  



Avian flu confirmed in Saskatchewan

50,000 birds at poultry farm to be destroyed
Last Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2007 | 12:41 PM CT
CBC News

Avian influenza has been confirmed at a large chicken farm near Regina, officials with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Thursday.


The H7N3 strain of the virus found at Pedigree Poultry at Regina Beach is fatal to birds, but is not dangerous to humans, the agency said. All 50,000 birds at the farm will be destroyed with carbon dioxide gas over the next few days.


"We could consider the entire premise to be infected," CFIA veterinary specialist Sandra Stephens said.


Stephens said the farm produced eggs to be hatched at another facility, but the virus can't spread through eggs. 


Earlier in the day, the road to the farm was blocked off about a kilometre away, and an official in a car was making sure nobody tried to get through. The official told a CBC reporter anyone coming out would be disinfected.


Officials with the local rural municipality were issuing cautions to the public.


"I would advise people to just stay away from the area because if there is a disease issue, we don't need to have any of this spread about either in our area, or any other area," said Jim Hipkins, reeve for the rural municipality of Lumsden.


Vehicles leaving the farm Wednesday were seen having their tires washed. People walking in the area were also seen having their footwear sprayed down.


Stephens said equipment and tools at the facility will be cleaned and disinfected in the days ahead. A three-kilometre zone has been established around the farm, but it's believed the facility is the only one in the area with poultry, she said.


Nobody knows how the infection spread to the farm, but the virus is commonly carried by migrating waterfowl, she said. 


Regina Beach is about 55 kilometres northwest of Regina.


No comments: