Galapagos Islands on alert over possible bird flu outbreak – DW – 09/18/2023

Ecuadorian authorities are investigating a possible outbreak of avian influenza in the Galapagos Islands after “several visibly sick birds” were discovered in the northern Galapagos Islands on Sunday (September 17, 2023).

“The Galapagos National Park Service is mobilizing a ship to the island of Genovissa to collect bird samples and analyze them accordingly,” the environment ministry said in an announcement, adding that neighboring Volvo Fujima is also under investigation. analyze.

The entity advises visitors to “not approach or pick up” any sick animals.

The ministry stressed that the Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique flora and fauna, are home to “some 78 species of endemic and native birds, many of which migrate to the mainland coast in search of food.” “.

Before the results were released, Ecuador had not yet been affected by an outbreak of bird flu, which has killed thousands of birds and sea lions this year along the coast of neighboring Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.

The virus’s adaptability to mammals such as sea lions has worried the World Health Organization, which warned in July that it could lead to the spread of the disease to humans.

jc (AFP, Amazon TV)

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