The first positive cases of avian influenza virus were detected in KRTB

A large number of dead birds were included, according to the report made between Rivière-du-Loup and Trois-Pistoles. A total of 870 carcasses of common eiders and about 200 seagulls were found on the various islands Duvertnor visited last week. After these were discovered along the Saint Lawrence River, analyzes began. An exercise that finally revealed the presence of bird flu.

“We conducted tests on five eider carcasses and five seagull carcasses from El Blanche, which were sent to Saint Hyacinth for PCR analysis. They have been announced,” said Jean-François Giroud, an official at Duvetnor and a professor of biology at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM). They are all positive for the virus.”

Usually during the same period, between 10 and 15 birds are dead. On the White Island, 175 carcasses of eiders and 55 birds were found. Therefore, the spread of avian influenza, especially in animals, is still closely monitored by experts, and analyzes are still underway in order to collect the results of Île aux Pommes and le aux Basques, in particular, while more than 600 bodies have been discovered at these sites.

“We found much more carcasses than usual of seagulls and especially eiders. The 10 samples we sent were declared positive for bird flu. Therefore, we can assume that other birds also died from this disease. We must remember that eiders are also sensitive to epidemics.” The last epidemic that was not influenza, but actually avian cholera, which is a bacterium and not a virus, dates back to 2002. Therefore, there is a history of these birds being affected by epidemics,” adds Mr. Gero.

“There are consequences that we see on Earth, but we also have to find the cause of these epidemics and take action,” explains the ranger and captain of the island to the Basques, Mikael Rio.

Humans spared?

The risk of contamination to humans is rather low, but the authorities state that dead wild birds should not be handled. It is recommended to notify the Department of Wildlife when a dead body is discovered.

“This risk is very low for the population, except in some cases for those who work in poultry farms or slaughterhouses, and therefore in very enclosed spaces. In the natural environment, where there is wind, avian influenza contamination is minimal. Moreover, on islands, It is currently very difficult to bring the bodies back to the mainland, due to navigation and the risk of spreading the virus. At the moment, the bodies will remain on the spot”, recalls Jean-Francois Giroud.

At the dawn of the summer season, this unusual event, also found elsewhere in the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Magdalen Islands, can have major effects.

“For a place like Île aux Basques, I don’t think it’s going to slow down tourism, but if you think of places with beaches like Îles-de-la-Madeleine where people really go to these places to enjoy the beaches and swim, surely if they aren’t captured corpses and persisted, it might have an effect,”

In the coming days, Quebec will put out an official report on the number of bodies found at Bas-Saint-Laurent. A note will provide a better overview of the issue.

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