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Avian Flu Detected at Toronto Zoo, Aviaries, Tours Closed Temporarily

Toronto Zoo has announced it will close or modify the bird aviaries as cases of avian flu have been confirmed. Avian flu can spread to both animals and humans. The zoo also stated that there have been no human cases of the flu or H5N1 detected in Canada.

Through a press release on Wednesday, March 15, Toronto Zoo announced that cases of avian flu were detected at the commercial poultry farm located within 200 kilometers of the facility. It stated that starting March 16, it will close or modify the bird aviaries in its pavilions. Furthermore, tours of the animal food preparation and bird housing areas have been suspended.

The press release also noted that the zoo staff has been instructed to wear foot pads or change their boots when entering the exhibits. It will also temporarily stop feeding poultry products to its animals and try to keep wild birds off the zoo property.

Avian flu or H5N1 can spread to both animals and humans, but there is no indication that the virus can spread efficiently from human to human. However, according to experts, if the virus does spread to humans, it can result in a death rate as high as 50 percent.

The press release states, “While this strain of the disease is highly contagious and lethal to birds, it is important to note there have been no human cases detected in Canada.”

Vineet Washington
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