Dr. Shayan Sharif

Avian immunologist Dr. Shayan Sharif spoke to national media outlets about the strain of avian flu spreading across North American poultry farms. 

To The Globe and Mail, Sharif noted that the current strain of H5N1 avian flu is more severe than previous strains of the virus and is a “devastating disease for farmers” because of how easily it spreads.  

On an episode of CBC’s Quirks and Quarks, Sharif explained the factors contributing to the rapid and fatal spread of the current strain, noting birds usually resistant to the avian flu are showing signs of susceptibility.  

Speaking to Global News, he said that although Canada has previously seen outbreaks of avian flu, no others “have been able to spread this extensively.” 

Sharif has spoken to several media outlets in recent weeks, sharing his expertise in avian influenza amid outbreaks across Canada. 

A professor in the Department of Pathobiology in the Ontario Veterinary College, Sharif specializes in the immune systems of chickens, including their responses to the avian influenza virus. He is also the associate dean of research and graduate studies.