Bird flu epidemic confirmed after two dead sea lion samples test positive

The director of fauna and flora of the Chubut province, Fernado Bersano, confirmed the presence of avian or H5N1 influenza based on the discovery of two dead sea lion specimens that tested positive. From then on, all subsequent fatal cases will be considered positive, although the expert clarified that “there may be dead animals in the colony and there may be asymptomatic animals, but this does not mean that if one is infected, All shall perish”. “The Colonies”.

positive side

“The work related to avian influenza is very similar to the work done on birds. In Chubut Province, Senasa coordinates the work of the Animal Administration, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Health and the Emergency Committee. In the case of Chubut Province, Four cases have been reported in the last week, two of which have been sampled and tested positive. With these two positive results, the mortality rate that occurs afterwards will be considered positive,” explained Birsano.

He pointed out that wolves appeared in the “pyramid”. Asked about the characteristics of the contagion, he clarified that it was “from birds to mammals”.

Bird flu and protocols

“The agreement to restrict access to the beach, to have the specimens buried where they were, and if the specimens could not be buried, to tow them into the sea was an agreement made within the committee,” Beresano noted. The purpose of this is to minimize dispersion, so it is more recommended to bury them in one place. “

“Other than that,” he continued, “people are advised not to approach them, not to touch them, that if the animals show any symptoms or any atypical behavior, they should report it, and most importantly, that they keep these pets under control and not to They go to the beach together because they can act as pollutants (vectors of pathogens) and spread the disease further.”

In April 2023, the province of Chubut activated the protocol in response to detected cases of bird flu. (12 news)

colony spread

On the other hand, Bersano explained: “With the migratory bird problem, we’ll be done, but in the case of mammals, in overcrowded colonies, the rate of transmission is much faster, although that doesn’t mean that all infected A herd of infected animals may have dead animals or asymptomatic animals, but that doesn’t mean that if one animal in the herd becomes infected, the whole herd dies.”

“There may be more or less deaths, but it doesn’t mean that it will affect the whole population. What those who have visual control of the beach are doing is monitoring the symptoms of animals on the beach, and the disposition of dead animals” , explained Bielsano.

“The criteria adopted by Senasa is that once a dead specimen comes out, influenza is considered the cause of death because it is positive for influenza,” said the head of the province’s Department of Fauna and Plants.

“The volume of samples that arrived was also very cumbersome. So, preventively, it was considered to be circulating in the province, the cases were positive, and went directly to the disposal protocol”, he noted.

Two dead sea lion specimens were found in the port of Piramides, and samples were positive for H5N1 influenza or avian influenza.
Two dead sea lion specimens were found in the port of Piramides, and samples tested positive for H5N1 influenza.

More cases

“Other cases have been reported in the colony, including birds such as penguins and cormorants, and all of those cases will be considered positive due to their association with the area. We have had those reports so far and as far as I know , there is a report from El Pedral, but we are not informed about it. Yes, we have reports from Radha Tilly and Commodore Rivadavia, Puerto Madryn and Piramides , but at Rosen we don’t,” concluded Birsano.

When cases of bird flu were detected, Senasa staff took samples at various locations across the country.
Senasa personnel perform horse shows at various locations in the country.

The rest of the country is also showing positive trends

The National Agri-Food Hygiene and Quality Service (Senasa) confirmed that “new disease-positive samples were diagnosed from sea lions (Otaria flavescens) found dead in the ports of Mar del Plata and Piramides.”

In a statement, the agency said, “To date, seven notifications regarding sea lions have been received, three of which have been negative; the remaining four detected positive cases are located in the Rio Grande and South Atlantic Islands in the province of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica. , the first positive case of this species; this incident was recently confirmed in the Rio Negro Punta Bermeja Nature Reserve a few days ago; the last two were yesterday in Necochea (Buenos Aires ) and Punta Loyola (Santa Cruz), and today’s situation”.

They noted: “These findings are made within the framework of surveillance actions and health measures implemented throughout the country to prevent the disease, established in accordance with the state of emergency declared by HPAI – Senasa Resolution 147/2023 .”

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