Bird flu found in dead sea lions off Tierra del Fuego
Argentine authorities confirmed on Friday that highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 had been detected in dead sea lions found off the coast of the Tierra del Fuego province in Patagonia.
“The discovery was made in seven of the 21 sea lions found in Rio Grande, Fuego province,” Argentina’s National Health and Food Quality Service (Senasa) reported in a statement following laboratory analysis. The samples had been sent for research amid fears of H5 avian influenza after the lifeless animals were found.
Senasa also noted: “To date, two previous suspicions of sea lions have been dealt with in the country, with negative results.”
In these cases, Senasa, together with the provincial government and the Rio Grande Mayor’s office, formed a follow-up commission to develop control and containment tasks.
Likewise, Senasa reported that it is cooperating with local authorities in different parts of the South American country as it “remains on alert for the behavior of the disease and its modes of transmission and transmission.”
“Based on international experience, marine mammals are likely to be susceptible to avian influenza and to be less frequent,” Senasa said, citing other positive cases in Peru and Chile.
Earlier this week, the Argentine government announced that the country had eliminated bird flu. On 15 February, the northern province of Jujuy confirmed the country’s first case.