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Canada Detects First Case of Whirling Disease

26 August 2016

CANADA - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of Whirling Disease in fish in Johnson Lake in Banff National Park.

This is the first case of whirling disease, an infectious disease of finfish that affects trout and salmon, in Canada.

Whirling disease is caused by the microscopic parasite Myxobolus cerebralis and infected fish may swim in a whirling pattern.

Whirling disease is a federally reportable disease under the Health of Animals Act and the CFIA is working closely with Parks Canada and Alberta Environment and Parks to ensure a coordinated response to the disease.

Parks Canada has restricted access to Johnson Lake and prohibited water based recreational activities at the lake to reduce the risk of further spread of the disease. Whirling disease is not a health concern for humans or other mammals.

Sampling and testing of fish from other water bodies in Banff National Park is underway. Alberta Environment and Parks is also sampling fish downstream from Banff National Park.

The federal and provincial governments will work together to develop an appropriate response plan as additional information about the disease situation is confirmed.

Further Reading

Find out more information on Whirling Disease by clicking here.

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