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More Farms Quarantined In Canada - H5N8 Increasingly Likely
Recombinomics Commentary
December 3, 2014 23:45

@paulvieira: Canada food watchdog says in phone briefing 2 more poultry farms closed due to avian flu, adds it is "possible" other farms could be hit

@CitytvNews: CFIA says 2 more farms in the Fraser Valley have been placed under quarantine in the Avian flu outbreak.

@HelenBranswell: #CFIA says 2 more farms under quarantine in British Columbia after discovery of an H5 avian #flu virus. No results yet on pathogenticity.

The newly quarantined farms are located in Abbotsford and Chilliwack between two farms where avian flu was announced Tuesday. All the birds at both farms will be destroyed, and the farmers will be compensated.
The above tweets and comments indicate more farm quarantines in Fraser Valley in British Columbia, Canada (see map).  The spread and lethality of the H5 strongly suggests it is H5N8 (Fujian clade 2.3.4) which is currently circulating in Asia (primarily in wild birds in Japan) and Europe (Germany, Netherlands, and England).
Sequence data of H5N8 outbreaks supporting multiple introductions leaves little doubt that the spread in Asia and Europe are due to wild birds, and the outbreaks in multiple farms in Fraser Valley also implicate wild birds.

Canada has never reported HPAI H5, although the gosling deaths on Prince Edward Island were almost certainly due to the Qinghai strain (clade 2.2) of H5N1.  However, that sub-clade is largely confirmed to Egypt at this time, and wild bird H5 is largely the Fujian strain (either clade 2.3.2 or 2.3.4).

The H5N8 is clade 2.3.4 and confirmation in Fraser Valley would represent the first report of that clade in poultry in the Americas.

Canada undoubtedly knows the sub-clade, which would be obvious from the sequence of the PCR insert

A new testing facility is processing samples in Fraser Valley, and deaths were first reported over the weekend, so sequence data is known.

Release of these sequences would be useful.

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