Dear Dr. Bernard Vallat
I am writing to request clarification. Is British Columbia a suspect area for the ISA virus?
We have over 1000 histological reports of “classic” ISA-type lesions from the provincial fish farm vet (Download BCP002864 ) and 5 wild salmon that have recently tested positive via PCR in your reference lab (Download Report 021111.pdf (22.0K)) (Download Ref Lab form for Laboaratory results submitting data to OIE - BC Sockeye salmon smolts - complete.pdf (319.5K)).
Can you define what constitutes a “suspect” case. Reading your OIE ISA information (Download OIE ISA1.pdf (298.8K)) it appears BC may be a suspect region, but I do not see it listed on your WAHID site. Such a designation might help mobilize effective response based on the negative experience other regions of the world have suffered due to spread of ISA virus. There seems an initial grace-period during which the virus remains low-virulence, after which time it has become highly virulent, contagious and damaging.
Can you advise on what exact steps we should take to better understand if ISA virus is in BC waters and how we can best protect this region from the type of epizootic that occurred in Chile? I feel there is a valid urgency to address whether preventative measures should be initiated. Reports on the Chilean experience where some people thought ISA virus was present, but it was not confirmed and then became a serious epidemic serve as a warning.
Can you also confirm that Dr. Fred Kibenge’s lab in Canada remains a reference lab for Infectious Salmon Anemia virus?