The strain of avian flu that affects wild birds is rapidly spreading throughout Quebec.
Analyzes confirm that the gannet colony on Bonaventure Island in Percé is affected by avian flu. In total, more than 250 carcasses have been found in recent weeks.
The park remains open, but measures have been taken to prevent possible contamination.
The strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza is spreading like wildfire across Quebec among wild birds.
In recent decades, vague contaminations of avian flu have affected wild birds in the country, but never of this magnitude, according to professor and virologist at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Montreal, Carl Gagnon.
“It is not something new necessarily for us in Canada, but of this magnitude, of this severity yes. We have never seen that. So the virus we currently have is spreading like wildfire. It is extremely contagious”, explains the expert.
With the current situation, the wave of mortality is likely to continue.
“You have to think that even in the big centers, we can think of the Montreal region, we have colonies of gulls in the islands of Varennes, for example. Could we see other mortalities in the coming weeks? Well, certainly,” adds Mr. Gagnon.
Some species are more affected than others. Experts find that younger birds succumb to the virus more often.
“For certain populations or certain colonies, it is especially young birds that will be affected or affected, because they have had less practice, they have been less exposed. So it is the young people, at that time, who will be most affected. The other thing to consider as well, are there other risk factors that can make the birds more fragile? For example, do they currently have other infections”, illustrates the full professor and virologist at the Faculty of veterinary medicine of the University of Montreal, Carl Gagnon.
In wild birds, controlling avian influenza is difficult as they often frequent the same habitats.
The virus can wreak havoc on farms. Compliance with biosecurity measures is essential to limit the spread.
The Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs indicates that it must now be considered that the “highly pathogenic” avian influenza virus has spread to all regions of Quebec.
Bird flu is rarely and with difficulty transmitted to humans.