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Report on the Investigation of Notifiable Avian Influenza (H5N2) in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada

PDF (811 kb)

January 2009
Version 4

Prepared by

Krista J Howden DVM MSc
Epidemiologist & Scientific Advisor
Animal Health and Welfare Management Section
Programs and Policies Branch
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Important Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure the information in this report is accurate.

CFIA Terrestrial Animal Health Division does not accept any responsibility or liability whatsoever for any error of fact, omission, interpretation or opinion that may be present, however it may have occurred.

Table of Contents

Report Objective


  1. British Columbia Poultry Industry
  2. Overview of Disease Control Actions
  3. Summary of Findings and Response on Infected Premises
    • 3.1 Summary of Findings and Response on IP#1 and IP#1a
    • 3.2 Summary of Findings and Response on IP#2
  4. Epidemiological Tracing
    • 4.1 Epidemiological Tracing Associated with IP#1 and IP#1a
    • 4.2 Epidemiological Tracing Accosiated with IP#2
  5. Movement Restrictions
  6. Surveillance
    • 6.1 Surveillance on Movement-Restricted Premises
      • 6.1.1 Surveillance within 3 km perimeters
      • 6.1.2 Surveillance on contact premises outside the 3 km perimeters
    • 6.2 Type of Surveillance Conducted During the Outbreak
      • 6.2.1 Dead Bird Surveillance
      • 6.2.2 Pre-Movement Surveillance
      • 6.2.3 Surveillance prior to Quarantine Release
      • 6.2.4 Full Surveillance
      • 6.2.5 Additional Surveillance Completed during the Outbreak
    • 6.3 Post-Outbreak Surveillance
  7. Destruction
  8. Disposal Activities
  9. Cleaning and Disinfection of Facilities and Equipment
  10. Working Hypothesis on Source and Transmission of NAI
    • 10.1 Infected Premises #1 & #1a
    • 10.2 Infected Premises #2
  11. Response Infrastructure
    • 11.1 The Role of CFIA
      • 11.1.1 The CFIA's Foreign Animal Disease Plan
      • 11.1.2 Emergency Operations Centres Established
      • 11.1.3 British Columbia Regional Emergency Operations Centre
      • 11.1.4 National Emergency Operations Centre
  12. Communications
  13. The Role of Poultry Producer Organizations
  14. The Role of Human Health Agencies
    • 14.1 Health Canada Workplace Health & Public Safety Programme (WHPSP) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)
    • 14.2 British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC)
    • 14.3 Fraser Health Agency
  15. Occupational Health and Safety




Report Objective

This investigative report was prepared to communicate with the Canadian public that a reportable disease event has occurred and that appropriate disease control measures have been implemented. In addition, this report provides information to trading partners that Canada has controlled a reportable disease and has met all international trading obligations in accordance with current World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines.


  • Low pathogenicity notifiable avian influenza (LPNAI) was identified on a turkey meat production operation in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia (BC) on January 21, 2009. All birds on this premises (IP#1) and one epidemiologically and geographically linked premises (IP#1a) were humanely destroyed and composted on-site.
  • The virus was identified as an H5N2, the same virus subtype identified during the avian influenza outbreak in the Fraser Valley in 2005. The virus sequence identified during this outbreak was most closely related to an H5 virus identified from a wild bird in California in 2007.
  • Movement restrictions were placed on an additional 24 commercial poultry premises located within 3 km of the infected premises.
  • A complete epidemiological investigation was undertaken into potential sources of avian influenza and opportunities for further spread of disease. This resulted in the quarantine of an additional 10 premises located in the Fraser Valley.
  • Epidemiologically and statistically valid active surveillance was completed for all premises under quarantine. Notifiable avian influenza was detected on one additional poultry operation (IP#2) on February 10. All birds on this premises were humanely destroyed and composted on site.
  • All commercial poultry operations within a 3 km radius of IP#2 were identified, and movement restrictions were placed on an additional 10 poultry premises. Some of the premises under movement restriction within 3 km of IP#1 were included in the 3 km perimeter established around IP#2.
  • Movement restrictions on poultry and poultry products within the first 3 km perimeter, except for IP#1/IP#1a, were eligible for removal on March 5. Movement restrictions on poultry and poultry products within the second 3 km perimeter, except for IP#2, were eligible for removal on March 19. Restrictions were removed 21 days after completion of biological heat treatment of compost on infected premises and following negative test results for NAI from the final on-farm surveillance sampling.
  • Restrictions on the first infected premises were released on March 17 and for the second on April 1. This occurred 21 days following the completion and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) approval of cleaning and disinfection.
  • Introduction of the virus to IP#1 is believed to have resulted from contact with wild birds, emphasizing the importance of biosecurity in preventing the introduction of avian influenza viruses into commercial poultry operations.
  • An epidemiological link between IP#1 and IP#2 was not established. The source of virus onto the second infected premises was not determined.

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