Thousands of birds dead or euthanized, hundreds of farms quarantined and exports canceled are a preliminary assessment of the spread of bird flu in Latin America, and officials are mitigating its impact. We are redoubled efforts to do so.
Since the first case was reported in October 2022, sick animals have been found in many countries, including Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. increase.
So far, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Paraguay are on the list of countries with no reported cases, but are under vigilance and close surveillance of animal health.
The disease reaches the region via migratory birds and spreads relentlessly from north to south and west to east.
The outbreak killed sea lions as well as wild birds and spread to backyard birds (for family consumption) and poultry.
Victor Manuel Baldovino Purina, head of the National Health Quality Service’s Buenos Aires Southern Regional Center, told AFP, “This is the first time that avian flu cases have appeared in backyard and commercial birds in Argentina.” said. (Senasa).
Argentina has suspended exports of poultry products since the first cases were reported on farms in early March, but the disease cannot be transmitted to humans through the consumption of poultry or eggs, thus affecting the domestic market. I will not give it to you.
About 240,000 chickens died or were slaughtered on farms in Argentina.
“Migratory birds are birds that bring this kind of virus through two currents, one from the Atlantic Ocean and one from the Pacific Ocean,” the expert explained.
Argentina does not have a licensed vaccine for the disease, but health officials and representatives of the Chamber of Business are “collaborating with laboratories to develop a vaccine” in the short term, Pulina said. says.
slaughter and vaccination
Mexico reported its first case on 14 October, and since then, 12 of the country’s 32 states have confirmed outbreaks, issuing quarantines and slowing the spread of the disease, which has a major impact on poultry production. Vaccines have been applied to stop it.
The Ministry of Agriculture reported that 50 farms in the country had confirmed outbreaks by early February, infecting 5.9 million birds.
Ecuador has been on high alert since the virus was detected in poultry and backyards on 27 November.
Authorities have even reported an infection in a 9-year-old girl in the state of Bolivar (Central).
About 35 farms are part of the first phase of vaccination, reaching over 750,000 animals in Ecuador.
Eradication measures included the culling of approximately 300,000 animals.
Peru declared a six-month health alert in November. Outbreaks affect not only birds, but also sea lions.
On March 6, Peruvian authorities reported that 3,487 sea lions living in a protected area may have died from influenza.
It is also reported that between November 2022 and March this year, 63,000 birds died from bird flu.
No human cases have been reported in Peru, but authorities urged people to “avoid contact with sea lions and seabirds.”
“The species carrying this virus appears to be the Franklin gull migrating from the north of the continent,” it warned Peru’s National Agricultural Health Service.
Panama sacrificed about 1,500 poultry and banned the movement of backyard specimens, fertilized eggs and ornamental birds for 90 days.
Chile reported its first case this week in poultry at a breeding center with 40,000 birds in Rancagua in the south. The regions of Arica (on the border with Peru) and Los Lagos (1,000 km south of Santiago) have already detected the virus in wild birds, sea lions and otters.
Venezuela, which has detected cases only in wild birds, has banned the transfer of all types of live birds and fertilized eggs.
Cuba ordered the closure and preventive quarantine of the Havana zoo after reporting a wild bird case on February 7, but no other suspected cases have been reported on the island.
Honduras declared a state of emergency on February 15 after recording about 300 dead pelicans on Caribbean beaches. Guatemala has also found pelicans dying of disease in coastal villages.
Meanwhile, Uruguay declared a health emergency across the country after the dead body of a virus-contaminated black-necked swan was found in the country’s eastern lagoon. The government has suspended bird sales fairs, but has restricted commercial bird movements to those controlled by the national poultry surveillance system.
Paraguay considers its arrival inevitable in a disease-free country.José Martín, director of Paraguay’s National Animal Health and Quality Service, told reporters: “We are very concerned. There is an imminent risk of an invasion of
“It’s a reality that we have to deal with in this region,” he added.