More than 40 sea lions die, sparking bird flu fears

Bird flu has dominated headlines and media coverage in recent hours, rocking the region again, with the deaths of several sea lions that landed in Kaiken Harbor sparking concern that some are suspecting something similar for the first time. South Breakwater, located in Mar del Plata.

The municipality of Necochea has just confirmed through a statement from the Ministry of Health that precautionary measures are necessary, including restricting the immediate area of ​​the species’ habitat within the marine terminal. Government sources assured that “40 to 50” sea lions were dead or dying.

This was confirmed by the National Animal Health Service (Senasa) after a meeting with representatives of different safety and health agencies, where the set of precautionary measures was agreed.

“As specified, SENASA personnel will collect samples (per current protocol) from sea lion specimens and send these samples to the Senasa Central Laboratory for virus assay and testing,” they reported in a note made public this afternoon, and It’s already in the hands of the experts who know the subject best.

At that meeting, the Argentine Ministry of the Navy also decided to order the preventive closure of the South Breakwater for 48 hours “to prevent access until the results of the aforementioned studies are available”. In the meantime, the City of Necochea will preventively close beach traffic from Avenida 75 to Escollera Sur.

To this end, our district proposes the following:

  • Avoid access and circulation of people and vehicles on the beach.
  • When a stuffed sea lion is present, avoid approaching and touching it.
  • Avoid contact with sick or dead birds.
  • Keep pets away from stuffed sea lions.

Avian influenza is a potentially zoonotic disease. Transmission occurs through indirect or direct contact with vehicles, footwear, clothing. It was explained that infected animals transmit the virus through their faeces and secretions, especially feces, which are highly contagious. Contact with humans can occur through the air route or through contact with mucous membranes.



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