Last December, the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed the first case of bird flu in Chile.
Esteban Valenzuela, director of the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, said: “We would like to report that the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, which has been on alert, has been involved in one of the regions of Arica and Parinacota. The virus was detected in a wild bird in poor condition to determine whether the virus has spread to the national territory.” ..
In this way, the infectious disease, which was later individualized to correspond to the H5N1 variant, was added to those found in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela.
“In coastal areas of North America, Europe and Latin America, an increase in cases from the north and south has been confirmed due to the migration of wild birds (…). sector to provide the utmost vigilance and support in this situation,” Valenzuela added.
So, over time, the pathogen spread from region to region until it was finally found in Coquimbo.
In this sense, almost eight months after the first case was detected, the World Organization for Animal Health (OMSA) declared that the country was free of the pathogen. This is because its presence is no longer detected in poultry farms.
“Amidst the tragedy caused by the rains, especially in O’Higgins, one of the most important white meat and poultry producing areas in the export process, this is good news, creating jobs in addition to the resumption of work in the aforementioned industries It is a lesser problem and a very important one,” said Minister Minagri, a reality that is no exception in the Coquimbo region.
SAG regional director Jorge Mautz said four of the six regions under health control had been lifted: Pichitangi, Los Velos, Puerto Alder and Guanacross.
“Only the island of Damas and the urban agglomeration are left. In fact, if we compare with the rest of the country, we are one of the least affected areas. Industrial establishments are not affected by bird flu, which means that the export market will be strengthened “, he said.
Of course, Motz said that although the virus has been eliminated, they will continue to carry out prevention, monitoring and traceability work with their respective municipal governments.
“However, large numbers of dead birds are still found in coastal areas (…). But, if you recall, there was an incredible stranding at one point. Of the 19 species detected, we were only positive for 110 The samples were individualized,” he said.
Thus, during the extension of the health alert, more than 17,000 birds were collected for various reasons due to control actions taken in the animal health surveillance area, and these animals were subsequently buried in the El Panul landfill under strict protection. Biosafety protocol.
“So far, there have been no cases of transmission of the pathogen to humans in our region. However, animals such as sea lions, dolphins, otters or chungungos have become infected. Nationwide, there has been only one case of human-to-human transmission, in Tocopillia, and become infected by handling sick animals,” concludes Motz.
Avian influenza is a contagious viral disease that affects domestic and wild birds and has no cure. Eventually, it can spread to other species, including humans. The virus has spread to South America through migratory birds in the northern hemisphere.
When the pathogen spreads to humans, people’s symptoms can range from mild upper respiratory infection (fever and cough) to severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (difficulty breathing), shock, and even death.