A pair of wild geese from Elgin Pond have tested positive for Avian Influenza (H5N1). Geese in distress and dead geese were first observed on Elgin Pond on March 17th. Officers from Uxbridge-Scugog Animal Control retrieved the birds and sent two of them to the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative at the University of Guelph. Both birds tested positive for the virus.

Avian influenza is a contagious viral infection that can affect domestic and wild birds throughout the world. It occurs naturally in wild birds and due to migration, can circulate in this population.

Residents are asked to avoid contact with birds that appear to be sick or have died and to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water if in contact with bird droppings or birds. These guidelines are precautionary; there are no human cases of avian flu in Durham Region.

The Township of Uxbridge is continuing to monitor the situation. The public is asked to report any animals, specifically geese or birds, found in distress, ill or dead on Municipal property to Uxbridge-Scugog Animal Control. You can reach them at pound@uxbridge-scugog-animal-shelter.ca or 905-985-9547. If you are calling after hours please follow instructions on the answering machine to contact an officer.

For more information about avian flu, safety precautions, or how to handle diseased birds and safely dispose of dead birds please visit the Durham Region Health website at https://www.durham.ca/en/health-and-wellness/avian-influenza.aspx#.

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