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More Farms Infected In Canada - H5N8 Increasingly Likely
Recombinomics Commentary
December 4, 2014 02:00

The two farms continue to be under quarantine to control disease spread, and two additional farms in the Fraser Valley have been placed under quarantine today. These farms were determined to be at high risk since they received birds from one of the original farms. Birds on these new farms were also showing signs of illness.

The above comments from a Canadian Farm Inspection Agency (CFIA) indicate that the two additional quarantined farms are also H5 infected base on broiler chicken symptoms.  This spread is expected because the H5 is clearly highly pathogenic and easily spread.

This is the first reported outbreak of HPAI H5 in Canada, raising concerns that the H5 is from wild birds carrying the Fujian H5N8 which is spreading in wild birds in Japan and wild birds and poultry in Europe (Germany, Netherlands, England).  Although the sequences in Europe are most closely related to the wild bird sequences from Japan, the differences in the sequences in the three European countries indicate infections are due to three independent introductions, which is also true for the first three farms confirmed in the Netherlands.

In Frazer Valley, the first two farms reporting dead poultry also were not connected, suggesting infection by wild birds.  Confirmation of Fujian H5N8 would represent this reported expansion of this strain to North America.

These infections may signify a more northern route for H5N8, which eluded detection in Russia / Mongolia and spread to northern Europe through western migration, and British Columbia via eastern migration.

Both of these locations raise concerns of further migration to the south, expanding H5N8 into the Middle East and Africa by the birds in Europe, and to regions in the southern United States by birds in British Columbia.

These serious possibilities may be the reason for the delay in the acknowledgement that the Fraser Valley outbreak is due to H5N8 that matches the sequences in Asia and Europe.

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