Canadian poultry ban
bird flu had been discovered on a Canadian poultry farm,
international authorities have responded by banning all imports of
poultry and related products from Canada.
The move follows tight regulations announced last week in the EU, China, Brazil and a host of other nations to control the spread of the disease there. Most nations trading in poultry from Canada have expressed their intention to ban all products from there. Both Chinese and Brazilian authorities said current consignments would either be returned or destroyed.
Canadian health officials discovered a case of bird flu in British Columbia last week, but have since said that it was of the low-risk variety, strain H7. In Asia, where 22 people have been killed by the virus, the strain is the more virulent H5 variety.
Further press reports have also confirmed that of five people exposed to the virus on the farm, two individuals have gone on to develop mild flu-like symptoms. Health officials said that there was no laboratory confirmation that any of the symptoms reported are linked to the infected chickens.
"However, the pattern of symptoms we are seeing is consistent with those described in human infections of at least one type of H7 influenza virus in other parts of the world," said Andrew Larder, medical health officer of the province's Fraser Health Authority at a news conference.
The poultry farm is currently in the process of slaughtering all of its 16,000 chickens using carbon dioxide and the farm will be under quarantine until all evidence of the disease is eradicated.