Fujian H5 In Woodstock Ontario Raises Surveillance Concerns

Tuesday, April 7, 2015
By Paul Martin

Recombinomics.com
April 7, 2015

Preliminary testing by the Province of Ontario has confirmed the presence of H5 avian influenza on a turkey farm near Woodstock, Ontario.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has placed the farm, and a neighbouring farm, under quarantine to control disease spread and the industry sector has been notified to adopt enhanced biosecurity practices.

Initial tests for the disease were conducted on April 5 at the Animal Health Laboratory at the University of Guelph, after the turkey farm experienced sudden deaths of birds over several days.

The above comments from the CFIA press release describe a HPAI H5 which is almost certainly Fujian clade 2.3.4.4 and is likely H5N2.

This outbreak follows a series of H5N2 outbreaks in the US Midwest, including a large series in Minnesota.

However, the Woodstock outbreak is significantly further east (see H5N2 map) signaling a high risk for outbreaks in the Atlantic Flyway.

The large distance between the outbreaks in Minnesota or Missouri and the Woodstock, Ontario outbreak signals a serious surveillance failure. Although the USDA used enhanced surveillance in the northwest in identify H5 in 49 wild birds, the failure to employ a similar level anywhere else in the US has allowed for silent spread.

The current migration season is spreading Fujian H5 throughout the United States and Canada (which has yet to identify a single Fujian H5 wild bird case).

A significant increase in infected farms in North America is expected.

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