First case of whirling disease in Canada
August 25, 2016 - Ottawa, ON - Government of 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 in Canada.
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.
- Whirling disease is an infectious disease of finfish that affects trout and salmon.
- Whirling disease is caused by the microscopic parasite Myxobolus cerebralis and infected fish may swim in a whirling pattern.
Additional information about whirling disease can be found at the CFIA website
Information about the Johnson Lake closure can be found on the Parks Canada website.
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