Environmental tragedy in Mar del Plata: Bird flu kills 110 sea lions

Mar del Plata is facing a serious environmental tragedy as an outbreak of bird flu affects the area’s sea lion population. The National Agricultural Food Hygiene and Quality Service (Senasa) reported that 110 sea lions have died so far in the coastal city, and if the town of Necochea is included, the number exceeds 200.

September 9, 2023. The number of dead marine mammals is shocking, with numerous specimens found off the coast of local beaches. In view of this situation, consortium personnel have been deployed to carry out daily cleaning and disinfection tasks on the harbor shoulder to reduce the spread of the virus and reduce deaths.

Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral disease that primarily affects birds, but in this case, it has been successfully transmitted to sea lions. This infection can cause severe symptoms in affected animals and, in some cases, death. Of note, no positive cases have been reported in birds so far, suggesting that spread to other animals is being avoided.

When sick animals are present, people must take precautions when approaching them. First, it is recommended to maintain a safe distance and avoid direct contact with animals. In addition, authorities such as the National Security Service or Civil Protection must be notified immediately so that they can take the necessary control and monitoring measures.

Coordinated efforts between Senasa, Civil Defense, the Argentine Animal Foundation, the state and the consortium are crucial to resolve this situation and minimize its impact. Daily inspections are being carried out at all beaches to identify affected specimens, which are removed and sanitarily buried.

The Mar del Plata community must come together to respond to this environmental tragedy and work to protect marine animal life and prevent the spread of avian influenza. It is imperative to comply with the instructions of the authorities and create awareness on the importance of protecting coastal biodiversity and environmental balance.

National MDQ

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