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Paradigm Shift Intervention Monitoring
Fujian H5N2 Flies Into Metro Vancouver SE
The above data from the running H5N2 tally by the CFIA cites the 10th outbreak which is in Langley, located in Southeast Metro Vancouver (see map). Thus, H5N2 has flown out of Fraser Valley and into Vancouver Metro.
This spread is not unexpected. The H5N2 in British Columbia is a novel Fujian clade 2.3.4 reassortant with five gene segments from H5N8 bird flu, including Fujian H5, as well as 3 gene segments from a North American bird with N2. This high path reassortant has a pathogenicity index (IVPI) of 2.96-2.98 (almost all experiment chickens are dead within 24 hours of infection and index is high than most H5N1) and the spread is expected to include southern BC, as well as the US.
Unlike, the 2004 H7N3 outbreak, which evolved from low path to high path, the Fujian strain has been high path since 2005, and wild birds can spread this deadly H5 over a very large area, regardless of culling operations on the ground.
The failure of CFIA to hold a press conference on the first reported entry of Fujian H5 into North American, and its mode of spread, leads to very misleading media reports as well as a lack of announcements to farms with poultry outside, include small backyard holdings which are becoming increasingly popular in the area.
The updates by the CFIA have been uneven and delayed. Media reports indicated the ninth farm was in Matsqui, which would require an update of the exclusion zone, which was not done. Now with an outbreak in southeast metro Vancouver, the map needs to be updated again, but the map at the CFIA website has not reflected confirmed H5N2 in Matsqui and Langley.
The delay in explaining the significance of the introduction into Fraser Valley and Southeast Metro Vancouver continues to put more birds and people at risk.