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Several wild birds carrying H5 flu viruses have been found in Quebec and Manitoba, officials from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced Monday.
"Preliminary testing has identified H5 influenza in 28 samples from Quebec, and five from Manitoba," Jim Clark of the CFIA told a news conference.
However, officials don't know yet if the birds have the lethal H5N1 subtype of the avian flu -- there are believed to be nine different H5 subtypes.
Health officials in Winnipeg conducting tests on the H5-infected birds won't know until mid-week whether they have H5N1
Six laboratories across Canada are studying samples from wild ducks to set up an early warning system for detecting avian flu.
Wild ducks can serve as a reservoir for avian influenza viruses.
It's thought than if H5N1 bird flu gains the ability to spread between people then a human is most likely to bring the pandemic virus to North America. A nagging question is if wild birds could bring the virus to Canada.