Peru reports death of 13,000 seabirds from bird flu

Lima, Nov 29 (EFE).- At least 13,869 wild seabirds, most of them pelicans, have died from type A H5N1 bird flu at different sites along the Peruvian coast, the National Forestry and Wildlife Service (Serfor) reported Tuesday.

Serfor said in a statement that it had located the bodies of 10,257 dead pelicans and some 3,500 marine boobies, among other species.

Peru declared a 180-day nationwide health alert on Nov. 24 after detecting the presence of highly pathogenic bird flu in the national territory.

Experts with Serfor’s technical administration and AgroRural are being deployed all along Peru’s coastline, mainly in the Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, Ancash, Ica, Moquegua, Tacna and Lima regions, to monitor the situation among the local avian species.

In addition, a special team will travel to Piura to take laboratory samples from dead seals and wild birds over the next week with an eye toward determining the causes of their deaths and to verify whether or not they were infected with the bird flu virus.

Both Serfor and the Health Ministry on Tuesday emphasized that people should not approach marine birds, whether they are injured, sick or dead, in order to prevent infecting other poultry – like chickens – or pet birds.

Meanwhile, Peru’s National Agrarian Health Service (Senasa) announced Monday that it had implemented a quarantine in the northern Lambayeque region to control an outbreak of H5N1 flu detected on a poultry farm, a matter of serious concern because to date bird flu had only been detected in pelicans and other wild species.

The quarantine at the farm in Lambayeque’s San Jose district will allow authorities to “keep the outbreak under control with ongoing epidemiological monitoring,” Senasa said.

The agency, which is part of the Agrarian Development and Irrigation Ministry, emphasized that the detection of bird flu among backyard birds or on large poultry farms “poses no risk for the consumption of meat or eggs from domestic birds.”

But, given that the disease has the ability to spread quickly, Senasa urged poultry raisers and producers to “strengthen biosecurity measures at their farms to avoid the entry of the disease into their operations.”

EFE pbc/gdl/bp

Related Articles

Back to top button