- "Samples from 704 birds found 24 percent tested
positive for strains of the H5 subtype of avian influenza. None is believed
to be the H5N1 strain that officials fear will infect humans, but more
tests to identify the strains are being conducted."
- Finding 24% of the wild birds samples in British Columbia
to be H5 positive is quite remarkable and strongly suggests the infections
are H5N1 wild bird flu. Although comments on pathogenicity are made, there
data no data on the HA cleavage site, which would quickly determine if
these birds are infected with H5N1 from Asia, which has a characteristic
RRRKKR sequence. H5N1 frequently causes asymptomatic infections in waterfowl,
even though the H5N1 is HPAI and contains the RRRKKR sequence at the HA
- Prior testing of wild birds in Canada indicates the H5
serotype is extremely rare, so finding 24% positive for H5 is cause for
concern. H5 serotypes were also found in Manitoba and Quebec, but the
number of birds sampled were not reported.
- Sequencing of the HA cleavage site would be useful.
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