Bird flu confirmed on Manitoba farm

A confirmed case of the avian flu, also known as bird flu, is discovered on a Manitoba turkey farm.

A confirmed case of the avian flu, also known as bird flu, has been discovered on a Manitoba turkey farm.

Provincial health officials said Wednesday the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has not yet determined if the strain is the deadly H5N1.

Officials said Wednesday it is unlikely that it is.

"It is an H5 but we've found H5 before in North America in wildlife" said Wayne Lees, Manitoba's chief veterinary officer. "Wild birds can carry all the different H types and all we've found so far have been the North American strains," he said.

According to the World Health Organization, H5N1 has killed 260 people worldwide and led to the cull of millions of birds.

The case was discovered on a breeding farm for turkeys in the Rural Municipality of Rockwood just north of Winnipeg in the last 24 hours. The farm is currently under quarantine, according to Manitoba Health officials. 

Officials said turkeys on the farm have been laying fewer eggs than normal.

The government said no humans have fallen ill and it is still safe to eat turkey provided it is cooked properly.

"This is certainly no cause for alarm," said Dr. Joel Kettner, Manitoba's chief public health officer.

"It is not cause for changing menu plans for upcoming Christmas or other events in which people would choose to use turkey," he said.

The CFIA is leading the investigation into the discovery.

With file from The Canadian Press