A case of avian flu has been confirmed in a herring gull found in Yellowknife’s Niven Lake neighbourhood, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The bird was submitted for examination in mid-June. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency only indicated the positive result this month.

“There have been no other cases reported, nor any indication of a local outbreak. No reports of abnormal behaviour or sick birds have been received from those running agriculture operations,” ENR stated in a news release on Wednesday afternoon.

This is the first positive case out of 54 birds analyzed for avian flu in the NWT.

No humans have tested positive for the highly-infectious virus in Canada during this outbreak among birds.

“The outbreak continues in other jurisdictions – though with fall migration well-underway, the risk to the NWT is receding slowly,” ENR added. “Caution is still necessary. Brush up on best practices and know what to look for when you’re out. As a general guideline, do not handle dead wild birds or live birds that are acting strangely. If you see sick, injured, or dead wildlife, including wild birds, call your ENR Regional Office or contact the ENR Wildlife Health Program at WildlifeVeterinarian@gov.nt.ca.”

Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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