Bird flu continues to spread in BC

About 100,000 birds have been destroyed in BC since the virus arrived in April

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Bird flu is spreading in British Columbia, with new outbreaks reported Tuesday in Peace River, Sechelt and Summerland.

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Avian flu (H5N1) is a federally regulated disease that is spreading worldwide and was first reported in BC in the North Okanagan Regional District on April 13.

The disease has been found in Abbotsford, Kelowna, Richmond, 100-Mile House, Bowen Island, Metro Vancouver, Williams Lake and the Comox Valley.

A 2004 outbreak in the Fraser Valley led to the culling of 17 million birds.

The latest strain of H5N1 is highly contagious, experts say, spreading across North America, likely through migrating wild birds.

All commercial poultry farms in BC are required to keep their birds indoors.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 1.7 million birds have died or been euthanized in Canada so far from the virus.

No infections have been found in humans.

In a statement, the BC Department of Agriculture and Food said that all contaminated buildings will be quarantined and other operators within a 10-kilometer radius will be informed.

Several wild birds in BC have also tested positive for flu.

According to the latest data from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, there are 12 infected sites in BC (not including the recent outbreaks) affecting 100,000 birds (meaning they have been euthanized).

Alberta has killed nearly a million birds.

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