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Poultry farmers in Alberta are hardest hit by bird flu

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Maria Gill
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The agency estimates the number of birds infected with bird flu at 1,075,000 H5N1 highly pathogenic (highly pathogenic avian influenza) in the county, which is 3,000 more than the data published last week.

As of Friday, Alberta had 19 active outbreaks. The last reported outbreaks date back to Tuesday on farms in . County country star and municipality Willow creek.

An outbreak has been reported on 37 farms since the first confirmed case on April 6, in Mountain View County, Alberta.

The natural carrier of the avian influenza virus, migratory birds are believed to be responsible for the chain of epidemics of this disease, which today is responsible for the deaths of more than 2.3 million birds in Canada and chain of epidemics around the world.

These migratory birds fly south in the fall and spread the virus on their flights. The virus can spread on clothing, equipment and even straw used as bedding in poultry houses.

We are all a little worried about the fall migration Said Jeff Notenbomer, owner Willow Creek Poultrynearby broiler farm LethbridgeIt is located about twenty kilometers from the epicenter of the infection willow stream.

Migratory birds, including geese, carry the avian influenza virus and can transmit the infection to domestic birds.

Photo: iStock / @arlutz73

He said the return of wild geese has fueled fears of the virus’ spread.

While it is hoped that farmers will be better prepared to prevent infection, farmers are wondering where and when the next outbreak will occur, says Jeff Nottenbaumer, who is also the president of Hatching egg producers in AlbertaThe body that regulates the production of hatching eggs in the province.

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Bird flu was first detected in Canada in 2004, but this year’s strain is different according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

new breed

Margo PeposWildlife pathologist alberta fish and wildlifeHe believes it is important for farmers to maintain strict biosecurity protocols in the coming weeks.

The new strain is highly transmissible and appears to persist in wild birds.

We were lucky in the spring because we could see what was happening at the southern end of the migration routeI explained.

Birds flying north over the United States provided conservation officials with important clues about the transmission and severity of the new strain, before that danger crossed the Alberta border.specific Margo Pepos.

Cases have been detected on a total of 37 farms since the first Alberta case was confirmed in Mountain View County on April 6.

Photo: Radio Canada/Ben Nelms

For the Autumn Migration, we are the first group to see an Arctic migratory bird. So we really don’t know what’s going to happen, she’s worried, but we hope the virus has mutated and become less virulent and less deadly.She added.

» Like COVID-19, the virus can become less severe as it spreads. »

Quote from Margo Pepes, a wildlife pathologist at the Alberta Fish and Wildlife Foundation

No wild cases have been detected since late July, but the county will continue to investigate bird deaths to identify any mutations.

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Avian influenza is a notifiable disease in Canada. Federal inspectors are responding to the outbreak by establishing quarantine areas and ordering the extermination of all birds on the site.

Health authorities say that while bird flu can sometimes cause illness in humans, it is rare and is believed to result from close contact with infected birds or highly polluted environments, rather than consumption of infected meat from an infected animal.

With information from Wallis Snowdon

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