Infectious Diseases 2004

Infectious Diseases 2004

Canada: Ongoing testing on Fraser Valley, British Columbia farm reveals high pathogenic avian influenza

9 March, 2004

Since the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announcement on February 23 of low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) on a Fraser Valley, B.C. farm, ongoing tests have been performed as a part of the CFIA's investigation. These tests now indicate that both low and high pathogenic (HPAI) forms of the H7N3 virus were present on the same farm.
The high pathogenic virus was only found in the second barn containing the younger birds. The presence of both forms of the virus on the same premise is not unheard of but is rare. This ongoing testing indicated that the virus was in the process of changing from low to high pathogenic in these younger birds.
The CFIA continues to survey poultry farms in the area and has quarantined a second farm where a low level of illness appears to exist among some of the birds. Testing is currently underway. The CFIA responded quickly to the initial discovery of low pathogenic avian influenza by placing the farm under quarantine on February 18, euthanizing all infected birds on February 20, disposing of them, and establishing an active surveillance program. The farm will remain under quarantine until cleaning and disinfection is complete.