Avian Flu information
Since December 2021, the H5N1 strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus has been detected in multiple species of wild birds across Canada. This virus causes a contagious infection that particularly affects migratory species, including waterfowl (geese, snow geese, ducks) and birds of prey. However, it can affect all bird species and cause mass mortality events. A few cases have been reported along the Richelieu River and in the outskirts of Montréal.
Cases of human infection are possible through direct contact with a sick bird, but remain very rare. Nevertheless, it is recommended to pay attention to disinfection when you are in contact with birds, whether they are alive or dead.
- Avoid touching and feeding wild birds with your hands.
- Avoid touching surfaces or objects heavily contaminated with bird droppings with your bare hands.
- Clean feeders and birdbaths frequently with a diluted solution of 10% bleach (9 parts water to 1 part bleach) and be sure to rinse thoroughly and let them dry.
- Recognize and report signs of avian flu.
- Nervousness, tremors or lack of coordination
- Swelling around the head, neck and eyes
- Neck often twisted or bent
- Lack of energy or weak movements
- Coughing, difficulty breathing or sneezing
- Sudden death
- Decreased egg production or laying of soft-shelled or shell-less eggs
As with humans, it is uncommon for pets to contract the disease, although it remains a possibility.
- Keep an eye on your pets and avoid contact with dead birds. Keep your dog on a leash.
- Do you suspect that your pet has come into contact with a bird carcass? Give him a bath to limit the chances of spreading the virus.
- Pay attention to the symptoms that may develop in your pet and contact a veterinarian if necessary.
Report a sick or dead bird
Contact the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs immediately at 1-877-346-6763.