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Avian flu concerns in Newmarket as health unit advises ways to protect residents and pets


The Town of Newmarket confirmed that dead geese found by locals were likely affected by avian flu.

According to Dr. JoAnne Fernandez, the associate medical officer of health in York Region, several birds have died in the Newmarket area, and two cases have come back positive for avian flu in Vaughan.

The town says its animal services team has been responding to reports of geese in distress at Fairy Lake.

"It's being monitored very closely, and so it's possible we'll see more cases likey in the bird population," Fernandez said.

While the risk to human health is believed to be low, the York Region Health Unit advises residents to take precautions to protect themselves and their pets.

One of the primary recommendations is to keep pets away from birds. Additionally, people with bird feeders should consider removing them to limit the congregation of birds and minimize the opportunities for infections to cross over.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says wild birds are natural carriers of avian influenza viruses, and while some birds may get sick or die, others can be infected and still appear healthy.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed the detection of bird flu at a farm in the southern Niagara Region, prompting towns and cities to alert residents to the risk.

As a safety precaution, the Toronto Zoo closed its bird aviaries to the public, and all behind-the-scenes food prep areas have been temporarily suspended.

The health unit asks anyone who encounters a sick or dead bird to avoid contact and report it immediately.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says there are no confirmed cases of humans being affected by avian flu anywhere in the country. Top Stories

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