A sign in rural Langley indicates an area that was quarantined late last year when the Fraser Valley was hit by an outbreak of avian influenza. No new cases of the disease have been reported since Dec. 19.

A sign in rural Langley indicates an area that was quarantined late last year when the Fraser Valley was hit by an outbreak of avian influenza. No new cases of the disease have been reported since Dec. 19.

No new avian flu cases reported in province

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it will take 90 days before outbreak is declared over

There have been no new avian flu cases reported in B.C. since Dec. 19, but the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) isn’t ready to declare an end to  the outbreak that forced the destruction of more than 240,000 birds in various Fraser Valley locations, including Langley.

A CFIA statement said the agency is “monitoring the progress of disposal of dead birds, and cleaning and disinfection of barns, vehicles, equipment and tools on the infected premises.”

Movement restrictions for poultry and poultry products are still in place and will remain in place until the CFIA is certain the outbreak is over.

The agency said “strict surveillance” of the affected zone will continue for the next 90 days.

“If no additional cases of avian influenza are found within this period, the zone can be considered free of avian influenza,” the agency statement said.

The CFIA has also announced a ban on importing eggs and poultry from Washington State and Oregon because of an avian influenza outbreak south of the border.

Until further notice, travellers coming into Canada will not be allowed to bring live birds, eggs, poultry meat (other than fully cooked, canned, commercially sterile meat products and related items) across the border.

Since the H5N2 virus was detected at a broiler/breeder farm in Chilliwack and a turkey farm in Abbotsford, a total of 12 sites have been affected, including three in Langley.

The H5N2 bird flu virus is described as a Eurasian-North American hybrid that is especially deadly to birds.

It’s the first time this type of avian flu virus has been seen in North America.

The worst avian flu outbreak in Canada was recorded in 2004, affecting 42 commercial farms and 11 non-commercial operations in the Fraser Valley and leading to the destruction of 17 million birds.