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Deafening Silence From Winnipeg On Fraser Valley H5N2 Lineage
Recombinomics Commentary
December 7, 2014 05:15

The confirmation of H5 on a fifth farm in Fraser Valley. which is in Aldergrove, 13 miles from the nearest prior H5N2 farm (see map) raises additional concerns on the lineage of the H5N2. This issue has not been addressed by Canada's Winnipeg National Lab, even though they have now received samples from at least 4 farm sources and have determined that the serotype is H5N2.

Canada has never reported high path H5N2 in wild birds or poultry. Since the fifth farm, like the relationship between the first and second, had no linkage to any of the other farms, it is likely that the infections are due to wild birds carrying high path H5N2.

The comments at yesterday’s press conference also suggests that additional farms have symptomatic poultry, and it is likely that these new outbreaks will be announced today and/or Monday, and the new farms will also not be linked to prior farms.  Additional unlinked farms would further suggest that the outbreaks in Fraser Valley are due to wild birds, which were also cited in today’s press conerence.  Comments also noted the wild bird spread of H5N8 in Europe, which involves a Fujian clade 2.3.4, which is currently circulating in wild birds in Japan.

Although high path H5N2 has never been reported in wild birds in Canada, it has been reported in wild birds and poultry farms in China (see map for 2014 oubreaks), and the H5 has been the Fujian lineage, raising concerns that the H5N2 in Fraser Valley is this Asian strain.

Distinguishing Asian H5 from North American H5 is done by comparing sequences, which can be done in seconds, and by now Winnipeg undoubtedly has enough sequence data to make that determination, but they have been alarmingly silent.

If this H5N2 was a North America lineage, Winnipeg would have offered assurances that the lineage in Fraser Valley is similar to the low path that has been responsible for prior outbreaks in Canada.

The silence from Winnipeg is deafening, and raises serious concerns that the H5N2 in Fraser Valley is Asian in origin.

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