Brazil extends state of animal health emergency over bird flu

Due to the discovery of an outbreak of the H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, mainly in wild birds, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock extended the national animal health emergency declaration for 180 days. The measure allows for preventive policies to prevent commercial birds from contracting the disease, also known as avian influenza.

On May 22, a week after contaminated migratory wild birds were first discovered, the government declared an animal health emergency. In six months, 139 outbreaks have been detected, but only three of them occurred among surviving birds in the states of EspĂ­rito Santo, Santa Catarina and Mato Grosso do Sul.

With no cases among commercial birds, Brazil maintains its status as an H5N1 virus-free country under World Organization for Animal Health (WHO) protocols.

The official Veterinary Service has investigated a total of 2,207 cases and sent 609 samples for laboratory analysis. 18 of them are still under investigation. Most of the 139 confirmed cases are in the coastal strip stretching from southern Bahia to Rio Grande do Sul.


Brazil accounts for 35% of the world chicken market and is the world’s largest exporter. The H5N1 virus is a virus with a strong ability to mutate and adapt to new hosts. It mainly poses a risk to the international trade of poultry products, but occasionally also poses a threat to the health of humans and other animals.

Brazil has never had a human case of the disease. Cases have been reported in the United States, Chile and Ecuador, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

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