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Avian flu found in small Comox poultry flock

Vancouver Island has it first case of avian flu.

A small poultry flock in the Comox Valley has tested positive for the highly pathogenic or disease-causing H5N1 avian influenza virus.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed the positive cases Wednesday and placed the infected premises under quarantine. The Ministry of Agriculture also notified producers within a 12-kilometre radius about the positive test results.

To date, seven small or backyard flocks have contracted the virus across British Columbia, likely through contact with infected migrating wild birds.

The province is urging owners of small or backyard flocks to continue to be vigilant and have appropriate preventative measures in place.

The Island’s largest poultry and egg producers have had strict measures in place for more than a month.

Anyone with poultry is being urged to eliminate or reduce opportunities for poultry to encounter wild birds, reduce human access to the flock and increase cleaning, disinfection and sanitization of everything, including clothing and footwear, when entering areas where flocks are housed.

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