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N.W.T. confirms first case of avian influenza in wild bird

YELLOWKNIFE — The Northwest Territories has confirmed its first case of avian influenza in a wild bird found in Yellowknife.
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Colorized transmission electron micrograph of Avian influenza A H5N1 viruses (seen in gold) grown in MDCK cells (seen in green) as shown in this undated handout photo. The Northwest Territories has confirmed its first case of avian influenza in a wild bird found in Yellowknife. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith via NIH *MANDATORY CREDIT*

YELLOWKNIFE — The Northwest Territories has confirmed its first case of avian influenza in a wild bird found in Yellowknife.

The territorial government said Wednesday that the herring gull was submitted to environment officials in mid-June and test results came back positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza this month.

This is the only confirmed case among a total of 54 birds that have been tested for avian influenza in the territory. 

The respiratory disease has now been discovered in birds in every province and territory in Canada. 

While highly contagious among birds, the risk of infection to humans is considered low.

Residents who hunt wild birds and harvest eggs are advised to take precautions like wearing gloves, washing their hands and cleaning their clothing and equipment. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2022. 

The Canadian Press

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