Avian Flu – Risk of Human Transmission Dubbed Low after Wild Birds Carrying Disease Found in Halton

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Halton Region Public Health has issued a warning to residents in Milton, Halton and other adjoining areas pertaining to the discovery of avian flu among dead birds in the region.

While the disease usually affects wild birds, it can sometimes also reach commercial poultry and other animals. However, it is a rarity for the flu to spread to humans, with most cases emerging from close contact with infected poultry. The birds suspected of carrying avian influenza (H5N1) were wild, and regions across Canada are receiving similar reports.

“The risk of avian flu spreading to humans is very low. Most human cases of avian flu have been traced to unprotected contact, such as not wearing gloves, protective wear, face masks, respirators or eye protection, with infected poultry or their droppings,” informed Dr. Joanna Oda, Halton Region’s Associate Medical Officer of Health.

Nevertheless, it is always better to follow precautions, and public health officials are urging residents to adhere to the following reminders:

Any additional information about the flu is available through the Ministry of Health, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and Halton Region Public Health.

Laura Steiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Milton Reporter, Milton Reporter