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Avian Flu

Audio file
George Diamond explains what is avian flu

Avian flu (also known as H5N1) is a flu virus that mostly affects wild birds and poultry, and can lead to illness and death.  

It is still safe to go hunting during Goose Break. The following precautions are recommended for hunters and their families, to protect themselves and their harvest against the risks of Avian flu. 


What is Avian Flu?

Avian flu (also known as H5N1) is a flu virus that mostly affects wild birds and poultry, and can lead to illness and death.   

  • The virus can spread between birds through their mucous, saliva, or feces. 

  • It can also spread to birds via contaminated surfaces and materials, including people’s clothing, shoes, or hands.  

  • Domestic birds are more vulnerable to Avian flu than wild birds.   

  • People who raise chickens or have pet birds should follow recommended precautions.  

  • If a flock of birds is infected, in rare circumstances, the virus can jump from a bird to a human.  


How to identify a sick bird

Symptoms in birds infected with Avian flu can include:  

  • lack of energy or movement 

  • nervousness, tremors or lack of coordination 

  • swelling around the head, neck, and eyes 

  • coughing, gasping for air or sneezing 

  • diarrhoea or constant pooping  

  • sudden death 


Preparing goose with gloves on

The risk to Eeyou-Eenou is low

Did you know?

  • The risk of people catching Avian flu from a bird is very low.  

  • However, the virus can easily spread between birds.  

  • Some wild animals (including foxes, seals, skunks, raccoons and bears) have also been found to have Avian flu, likely from eating the raw meat of sick birds. 

  • To keep your pets safe, do not let them eat uncooked game birds or poultry. 

How to protect yourself



Explore more

Being out on the land is a good place to be. But even in the bush, we can still be at risk of getting sick.

Continue to use care and proper hygiene when handling and preparing our harvests.

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