OTTAWA, Nov. 1 (Xinhuanet) -- A form of avian flu has been found in birds in Canada's western province of British Columbia, health officials said on Tuesday.
This comes a day after birds were found carrying a strain of the disease in the provinces of Quebec and Manitoba.
Samples were taken from 700 ducks in the British Columbia in August. Of those, 174 tests came back positive, with 14 as strongly positive. Seventy-five of those samples were weak or slightly positive, and are being tested again.
British Columbia's Chief Veterinarian Dr. Ron Lewis told a teleconference call from Victoria that they "were surprised by the large number of H5 samples."
Those Samples have now been sent to the National Center for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg to determine if the virus is the more dangerous H5N1 strain of the bird flu.
Yet Lewis said none of the B.C. birds is sick or associated with commercial poultry operations.
In 2004, an outbreak of a form of avian flu in British Columbia forced the slaughter of 17 million birds. In the end, only three million birds were found to have had the disease.