Avian flu found in 2 more B.C. flocks

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The highly pathogenic strain of avian flu that has B.C.’s poultry industry on alert has now been detected in two more flocks of domestic birds in the province including a second case in Kelowna.

The two latest sites were identified on May 3rd, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and both are small flocks. The infected premises are now under quarantine.

In total, four small flocks of domestic birds and one commercial poultry operation have have tested positive in the province.

General manager Rob Hope with the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta said they’ve recently seen about four positive cases come in, as well as six that are considered suspicious. They saw their first positive case in March.

The society has also set up an examination tent outside, with a disinfectant foot wash for those entering. When a suspected case arrives, swabs are taken and sent for testing. Birds that have died are kept in a freezer, and will also be sent off for further analysis.

Hope said, in a bird of prey, symptoms of the virus can manifest as neurological signs such as “star-gazing,” where the bird stares upward, as well as dull, swollen eyes and a swollen face.

“If somebody comes across a bird of prey that they think may (have) avian flu, please give us a call,” Hope added.