Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) is advising area residents to exercise caution around wild birds at conservation areas, in parks, around their neighbourhood and in their yards, amid an increase in avian flu cases.
The Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are currently responding to several cases of avian influenza virus (AIV) in southern Ontario. AIV can infect wild and domestic birds but is unlikely to transfer to humans, CVC said in a statement to CanIndia News.
AIV is a naturally occurring, contagious respiratory viral infection affecting birds. The current strain of AIV found in southern Ontario, H5N1, is known to spread quickly and cause mass bird mortality, the CVC explained.
Do not handle wild birds, cautioned CVC while urging residents that have backyard bird feeders and baths to follow Government of Canada guidelines.
If you encounter an injured, ill or dead bird within a CVC conservation area, please contact CVC at 1-800-668-5557. If you are outside of a CVC conservation area, please contact the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative at 1-866-673-4781.