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Montevideo, April 24th 2024 - 08:37 UTC



Three more sea lions confirmed to have died of bird flu

Tuesday, August 29th 2023 - 09:00 UTC
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Two of the new cases were found in the province of Buenos Aires and the other in Río Negro Two of the new cases were found in the province of Buenos Aires and the other in Río Negro

Argentina's National Agrifood Health and Quality Service (Senasa) Monday confirmed three more cases of avian influenza had been detected in sea lions along the country's Atlantic Ocean coast.

 The new findings were recorded in Claromecó and San Blas, in the province of Buenos Aires, and in San Antonio Este, Río Negro, according to laboratory tests on dead animals in these locations.

Other positive cases have been detected in Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego; Antarctica; in the Punta Bermeja Natural Reserve, Rio Negro; in Necochea-Quequén, Buenos Aires; in Punta Loyola, Santa Cruz; in Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires; and in Puerto Pirámides, Chubut.

“There are sick animals, dead or dying. We have counted between 30 and 50 dead animals and many more sick,” said Punta Bermeja Natural Reserve Ranger Juan Isidro, who guards a colony of about 7,000 animals.

The first positive case was detected last August 11 in Tierra del Fuego, after the appearance of about twenty lifeless birds on the coast of Rio Grande.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is a disease with a major impact on poultry production, affecting both domestic birds such as chickens, ducks, turkeys, and geese, and wild birds. It can also spread to other animals and even humans. Since the end of 2021, a wave of avian influenza has spread worldwide.

As part of the sampling protocol, the burial site of suspected dead animals is identified to avoid contamination or infection of other animals or humans.

In this scenario, Senasa insisted on its recommendations not to handle dead animals or animals with suspicious symptoms and recalled the importance of reporting high mortality in susceptible species if nervous, digestive, and/or respiratory signs are observed in wild birds or commercial or backyard domestic birds. People were also advised not to visit poultry farms or wildlife areas after contact with dead or symptomatic animals.

Read also: Mar del Plata breakwater closed due to sea lions dying of bird flu

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