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A strain of H5 bird flu has been found in a duck on a commercial farm in British Columbia's Fraser Valley.
B.C. government officials said Friday there is no risk to human health, but the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has quarantined the farm after an outbreak of avian influenza in the area in 2004.
At this point, health officials say they are not sure which strain of the H5 avian bird flu was found in the duck.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is visiting farms in a five kilometre radius around the infected premises near Abbotsford to test birds and is warning bird owners to practice strict biosecurity.
An outbreak of avian flu in 2004 eventually hit farms in a 70-kilometre-wide swath from the Vancouver's eastern suburbs to Chilliwack in the eastern Fraser Valley, forcing the slaughter of 17 million birds.
A sample from the infected duck has been flown to the Centre for Animal Disease in Winnipeg and scientists are trying to figure out exactly what kind of avian influenza they are dealing with.
It could take more than 24 hours to get results, but it's possible the lab might never be able to get a clear reading from the sample to determine what strain of the virus it is, said Dr. Jim Clark, a director of animal health with the food inspection agency.
Two wild ducks in Manitoba have tested positive for H5N1 avian flu viruses, but not the dangerous form of the virus circulating in Southeast Asia, federal officials announced Saturday.
"I want to emphasize that the H5N1 subtype detected in Manitoba is completely distinct from the strain currently present in Asia," Dr. Brian Evans, Canada's chief veterinary officer, said in disclosing the findings.
"The identification of this virus, which has been previously identified in North American birds, poses no new risks to human health," added Dr. Arlene King, head of respiratory diseases for the Public Health Agency of Canada.