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Bird flu returns to Fraser Valley

A still-unidentified strain of bird flu has been found on an Abbotsford turkey farm. It’s not the first time, but it could be the most serious outbreak since the mass culling of 17 million Fraser Valley birds in 2004.

A spokesperson for the industry, speaking on CBC radio’s Early Edition, said the virus is probably a low-pathogenic strain.

The 2004 avian flu outbreak was H7N3, a strain that is rarely dangerous to humans.

Only low-path H5N1 has ever been identified in North America. The high-pathogenic strain has devastated Asian, African and European poultry industries since 2003, and infecting 399 humans. According to the World Health Organization, 251 of those cases have been fatal.

A report by provides a few early details about the Abbotsford outbreak.

Crawford Kilian, a contributing editor of The Tyee, blogs about avian flu at H5N1.

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