Avian flu strain on Canada Atlantic coast

June 18, 2006

An apparently milder form of avian flu was found in a gosling on a poultry farm in Prince Edward Island, Canadian health officials confirmed Saturday.

Expert Dr. Lamont Sweet said he believes this may be the first case of avian flu on Canada's Atlantic coast.

Officials say the virus comes from the H5 strain, but there is no evidence it's the virulent H5N1 version that stirs fears of a pandemic among humans, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said.

Further testing was to take place over the weekend at the Atlantic Veterinary College to determine the exact strain and virulence of the virus, CBC News said. The results of those tests were expected next week.

Although different types of avian flu have been discovered in some birds in Canada, none have contained H5N1.

That strain has claimed more than 100 lives around the world, according to the World Health Organization. Most of the deaths were among people who were in close contact with infected poultry.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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