There has been an ongoing avian influenza outbreak that has spread to at least 7 separate farms now in British Columbia. Public health officials are not exactly sure what triggered this outbreak, but one possibility is that it stemmed from migratory wild birds. Fortunately it is not the H5N1 strain that is more publicized for being extremely pathogenic in humans. Instead, it is an H5N2 strain of the influenza virus. This strain is not extremely dangerous to humans in its current state as long as the proper precautions are taken while cooking and handling birds.
However, unfortunately for Canada, it has had a significant impact on the local poultry industry, with 8 countries thus far having placed restrictions on British Columbia poultry products, including the United States. The solution for the providence thus far to stop the epidemic has been to simply slaughter the birds until the disease is no longer noticeable. This seems to be standard practice in avian flu epidemics across the world.
- Eddie Irvine