After finding eight sea lion cases in Patagonia, they looked at whether sea lions killed in Necochea were infected with bird flu

Senasa is working on a sample of a fur sealion that died off the coast of Necochea a few days ago. They are suspected of being infected with bird flu (Martín Brunella/Guide to Marine Mammals of San Matías Bay/Azara Foundation/Archives)

This afternoon or early tomorrow Thursday, Results of a study on samples of dead sea lions from the Necochea coast, Buenos Aires province, to database Public agencies responsible for animal health, Senasa.It is suspected These animals may be affected by bird flu.

will exceed 40 people affected of the species sea ​​lion with one hair (Its scientific name is Sophora flavescens). It is a marine mammal widely distributed in South America and has habitats all over the world. argentine sea.

this Mammals Can Infect Viruses pass Direct contact with secretions from infected birds. this Humans can also be infected.but the number of cases worldwide so far is low.

This is what some dead sea lions in Necochea looked like.Their eye color turned red and they started shaking

On 16 August, the National Agri-Food Hygiene and Quality Service (Senasa) confirmed the presence of the bird flu virus A dead sea lion off the coast of Río Negro province. It is located in the Punta Bermeja Nature Reserve “La Lobería”.

Earlier, on Aug. 11, Senasa also reported that seven of the 21 sea lions found in the Rio Grande were dead. Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands Tierra del Fuegohas been infected with bird flu.

It is a highly contagious notifiable disease that affects wild and domestic birds. The first outbreak in Argentina since February 2023 caused the country to lose its “bird flu-free” status.. On 15 February, the first case of avian influenza was confirmed in an Andean goose in the province of Jujuy and a health emergency was declared.

On August 11, 21 South American sea lions were found dead in Rio Grande, 7 of which were found to be infected with avian influenza. There is also a case in Río Negro / Instituto Fueguino de Turismo

In early August, 18 commercial establishments registered in the country had detected outbreaks, the last of which had been closed.Afterwards, Senasa proposed World Organization for Animal Health (WHO) A document with a self-declaration that supports and maintains Argentina as a state Poultry are disease free.

Currently, the most recent cases of avian influenza in the Rio Negro and Tierra del Fuego have been in mammals rather than poultry. Therefore, the “free” category for bird flu still holds.

The outbreak of avian influenza in Argentina occurred against the background of the extraordinary worldwide spread of the disease. In 2020, a new strain of the virus was detected, which they called “H5N1 clade“. Since last year, the strain has circulated in North America before reaching South America via migratory birds.

Avian influenza viruses mainly affect birds. But it can be transmitted to mammals and humans (Matthias Kulka)

These birds can carry the virus. Sometimes they have no symptoms. In other cases, they may also get sick. Transmission of the virus from wild birds can occur if they come into contact with poultry congregated in large numbers, such as hens or chicks. Last February, OMSA reported that more than 100 million poultry birds had died or been culled due to the virus.

On July 12, the World Health Organization and OMSA issued another bird flu risk alert. They noted that the current outbreak of so-called bird flu “has wreaked havoc on animal populations, including poultry, wild birds and some mammals, and has harmed farmers’ livelihoods and the food trade”. Although they have a great influence on animals, “These outbreaks pose a permanent risk to humanity.”

The two U.N.-dependent health agencies are urging countries to work together across sectors to save as many animals as possible and protect humans.

“Avian influenza viruses circulate normally among birds, but the number of avian influenza viruses is increasing.The detection of H5N1 bird flu in mammals, which are biologically closer to humans than birds, has raised concerns that the virus may have adapted to infect humans more easily“.

In July, the World Health Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health warned that bird flu viruses could recombine and pose a risk to humans.

Furthermore, they point out that “some mammals can serve as virus recombination Influenza, which will lead to the emergence of new viruses that are more harmful to animals and humans.”

In 2022, 67 countries on five continents will report outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry and wild birds, and more than 131 million poultry in affected farms and villages will die or be slaughtered. In 2023, as the disease continues to spread, 14 additional countries report outbreaks, mainly in the Americas. Several mass mortalities have been reported in wild birds, all caused by influenza A (H5N1) viruses of the clade.

Since 2021, cases of bird flu have been detected in mammals such as mink on Spanish farms, fur seals in the United States, and sea lions in Peru and Chile.

“Since 2022, 10 countries on three continents have recently reported increasing numbers of deadly outbreaks in mammals, also caused by avian influenza viruses. It is likely that many more countries have yet to detect or report outbreaks,” noted.

Both terrestrial and marine mammals have been affected, including outbreaks in Spanish farmed mink, American fur seals, and Peruvian and Chilean sea lions, which are known to At least 26 types has been affected.The virus has also been found in domestic animals such as puppy and cats, in several countries, the Polish authorities have announced recently in cat.

“There has been a recent paradigm shift in the ecology and epidemiology of avian influenza, which has attracted global attention as the disease has spread across the globe. new geographic area and has resulted in an extraordinary die-off of wild birds and an alarming increase in mammalian cases,” Gregory Torres, Director of Science, OIE.

Eight human cases of avian influenza have been reported since December 2021

As for risk Humans, only 8 cases reported From December 2021. Infection in humans can cause severe disease with a high mortality rate. Human cases detected so far are mainly related to close contact of infected birds and contaminated environments.

“Based on the information available so far, the virus does not appear to spread easily from one person to another, but vigilance is warranted to identify evolution of the virus that may change this,” he said. Sylvie BriandDirector of Epidemic and Pandemic Preparedness and Prevention WHO.

continue reading:

As 40 sea lions in Necochea die mysteriously, they investigate a possible large-scale bird flu outbreak
What is the reason for the continuous advancement of the bird flu epidemic in South America
COVID-19, influenza, and bronchiolitis: How will pathogen behavior change in 2023?

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