MEDIA ADVISORY: McMaster expert available to discuss avian flu outbreak at Ontario poultry farms

HAMILTON, April 13, 2015: Twenty-nine poultry farms in Ontario have now been placed under quarantine after H5 avian influenza was confirmed on a turkey farm in Woodstock.

Matthew Miller, a researcher at McMaster's Institute for Infectious Disease Research, is available to discuss disease transmission patterns among poultry, as well as the potential impact on humans should new strains of avian flu mutate further.

Miller is a leading expert on disease transmission from animals to humans and his ongoing research efforts are focused on developing a universal flu vaccine. He is familiar with the strains of avian flu that have been causing concern among public health officials.

"The decision to expand the quarantine zone in light of the confirmed outbreak in Woodstock is a prudent decision," says Miller. "Effective quarantine measures are currently the most effective means of preventing spread of the virus, and will serve to minimize the associated economic impact and potential health hazard."

Miller can be reached directly at 289-775-8573 or mmiller@mcmaster.ca

McMaster's on-campus broadcast studio is available for live or pre-taped television interviews.

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For more information please contact:

Michelle Donovan, Public Relations Manager, McMaster University

905-525-9140, ext. 22869

donovam@mcmaster.ca

Andrew Baulcomb, Public Relations Coordinator, McMaster University

905-525-9140, ext. 23585

baulcoad@mcmaster.ca