Community Alert: Avian influenza (Bird Flu) confirmed at an Ontario commercial poultry premises in Norfolk County.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed H5N1 Avian influenza (Bird Flu) at an Ontario commercial poultry premises in Norfolk County.
Avian Influenza, commonly known as bird flu, is a type A influenza virus that is highly contagious amongst birds and can infect domesticated and wild birds, such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, raptor, gulls, terns, shorebirds, quail, ducks, geese and guinea fowl and others.
The risk of humans getting Avian influenza viruses is low, except for those improperly handling infected birds. To date, no human cases have been detected and there is no evidence to suggest that the Avian influenza virus can be transmitted to humans when eating fully cooked game birds or eggs.
Community members are encouraged to practice the following safety tips to minimize risk and exposure to Avian influenza when hunting and handling wild birds or collecting eggs:
• wash hands often;
• wear protective clothing such as boots and disposable gloves;
• limit contact with blood, feces or secretions and when finished, clean work surfaces thoroughly;
• ensure that birds and eggs are fully cooked before eating;
• if you become ill after handling wild birds or eggs, seek medical attention;
• do not feed your pets any raw meat from game birds or poultry and do not allow pets to consume or play with dead wild birds. Do your best to keep your animals indoors or on a leash if going outside.
If possible, avoid handling live or dead wild birds. Community members are encouraged to call Ohsweken Public Health at 519-445-2672 to report the finding of sick or dead wild birds and they can also assist with proper removal and necessary testing.
Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council along with Six Nations Health Services, Ohsweken Public Health, Indigenous Services Canada and Brant County Health Unit are monitoring the situation closely.