Thursday, July 18, 2024

Avian flu detected in Canada geese in Belleville

Photo via Unsplash

Avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, has been confirmed in deceased Canada geese discovered in Belleville. Typically spreading among wild bird populations, avian influenza can occasionally affect commercial poultry or other animals, such as dogs, when they come into contact with infected animals.

A media release from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) explains that human cases of avian flu are rare and mostly result from close contact with infected poultry. As of now (Tuesday, Feb. 13), there have been no confirmed cases of humans contracting the current avian influenza strain (H5N1) in Canada. However, due to uncertainty about the transmission of the virus from infected animals to people, it’s crucial to prevent children and household pets from interacting with wild birds or potentially sick animals.

Residents are reminded to refrain from contact with sick or deceased wild or domestic birds.

To minimize the risk of avian flu, the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) advises the public to:

  • Avoid direct contact with wild birds and other wild animals, observing them only from a distance.
  • Report ill or deceased birds/animals to local municipalities and the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative.
  • If contact with a deceased bird or animal is unavoidable, wear gloves, double-bag the animal, and wash hands thoroughly afterward.
  • Clean bird feeders and bird baths regularly with a bleach and water solution.
  • Keep family pets away from birds and their waste, ensuring cats are indoors and dogs are leashed.
  • Refrain from attempting to rescue distressed birds, particularly on bodies of water.
  • Seek medical attention if influenza symptoms develop within 10 days of handling wildlife.

As an additional precaution, HPEPH recommends all residents receive their annual flu shot, although it doesn’t prevent avian flu, it can reduce the risk of simultaneous infection with human and avian flu viruses.

Further information on avian flu is available from the Ministry of Health, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, and Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.

Leave a Reply

You cannot copy content from this page, please share the link instead!