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The Canadian Food and Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of avian influenza, commonly known as “bird flu”, (subtype H5N1) in several poultry flocks throughout Alberta. Infected premises have been placed under quarantine with primary control zones established to prevent the spread of this highly pathogenic avian influenza. The closest infected premises to the MD of Bighorn has been confirmed in Mountain View County. Avian Influenza is a federal reportable disease, and the national response is led by the CFIA.
Map of Avian Influenza Zones
Avian influenza is a virus that can affect several species of food-producing birds (chickens, turkeys, ducks, quails, guinea fowl, etc.), as well as pet and wild birds. The highly pathogenic H5N1 virus can, on rare occasions, cause disease in humans. Transmission can occur when people have had close contact with infected birds or heavily contaminated environments.
Avian influenza is spreading in wild bird populations across the globe and presents a significant concern as birds migrate to Canada. Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) provides wild bird surveillance efforts and remains interested in reports of dead raptors (hawks, owls, falcons), corvids (magpie, raven, crow, blue jay), or gulls, particularly if head tremors, weak wobbly head and neck were observed before the bird died. Reports of dead waterfowl and raptors can be made at the local Fish and Wildlife office or by calling 310-0000. The highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds is not known to infect people however, basic precautions should be used when handling dead birds (gloves, double bag the carcass). Anyone who has contact with a possible case of avian influenza in wild birds should not visit or come into contact with any poultry until you and any equipment or vehicle are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Fact Sheet on Avian Influenza
Protect Your Flock From Avian Influenza
Avian Influenza Detections by Province
Estimated Number of Birds Impacted by Avian Influenza in Canada
Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development - Information on Avian Influenza in Domestic Birds
Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development - Information on Avian Influenza in Wild Birds