City of Saskatoon warns residents after positive cases of avian flu in birds

Click to play video: 'H5N1 strain considered the worst avian flu to hit Saskatchewan since 2015' H5N1 strain considered the worst avian flu to hit Saskatchewan since 2015
Officials are concerned as the avian influenza continues to spread across the province and as Kayla Guerrette explains, it’s the worst experts have seen since 2015 – Apr 27, 2022

The City of Saskatoon is warning residents to be careful after the Agriculture Ministry confirmed samples collected from a snow goose were positive for avian flu.

The goose was found near Elrose, Sask., about 160 kilometres southwest of Saskatoon, according to a city release.

Read more: H5N1 strain considered the worst avian flu to hit Saskatchewan since 2015

The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been found in poultry and wild birds in the U.S. and in several Canadian provinces.

Avian flu is a viral infection with the ability to spread easily and quickly among birds.

Some wild bird species, like ducks, can carry the virus and infect other birds without getting sick themselves.

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Other bird species are more likely to get severely ill and die when infected with some types of avian flu.

“It is important to note that the public health risk is extremely low and there is no risk to food safety,” the city release stated.

The city is asking for residents’ help by encouraging them not to feed birds by hand, to temporarily take down bird feeders as they encourage birds to congregate, and not to touch sick or dead birds.

If someone does come across a sick bird or dead bird, they should report it to the Ministry of Environment Inquiry Centre at 1-800-567-4224.

The Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo has temporarily relocated all bird species at the zoo to a secure facility to protect them against the avian flu.

Read more: Quebec duck farm says it has to kill 150,000 birds, lay off 300 staff due to avian flu

The city is also reminding people that nesting season for Canada geese has begun.

“Geese are known to be very protective of their nests and will become aggressive if you get too close for their comfort. People should exercise extra caution and awareness if they are in areas near potential nesting sites.”

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