8 dead skunks found in Vancouver and Richmond test positive for avian flu – CBC

The skunks may have contracted influenza by scavenging wild birds, B.C. government says

Mar 13, 2023

Eight skunks found dead last month in Vancouver and nearby Richmond, B.C., have tested positive for avian flu.

The B.C. government says it is the same strain of avian influenza associated with the outbreak that began in April 2022.

The skunks were found in residential areas in both cities and were taken to B.C.’s Animal Health Centre over concerns they may have been deliberately poisoned.

British Columbia’s Ministry of Agriculture says the skunks were infected with the same H5N1 strain that has caused the deaths of millions of domestic poultry since the outbreak began in April last year.

The ministry says in a statement the skunks may have contracted H5N1 by scavenging on infected wild birds.

The statement says while avian flu in skunks is considered to be a low risk to human health, there are always risks when people or pets come into contact with sick or dead wild animals.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/skunk-avian-flu-1.6777565

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