Sea lions confirm new round of bird flu outbreak

The National Laboratory of the National Food Hygiene and Quality Service (Senasa) diagnosed “new positive samples of the disease from sea lions that died in Puerto Quiquen, Necochea (Buenos Aires) and Puerto Rico ( Otaria flavescens) Loyola (Santa Cruz),” this was reported via a press release.

So far, four notifications about sea lions have been processed: the first two were negative; the third was found in Antarctica’s Tierra del Fuego and the Rio Grande in the South Atlantic Islands, the first positive case for this species the fourth was confirmed a few days ago in the Rio Negro Punta Bermeja Nature Reserve.

They took additional samples last Wednesday from Mar del Plata in Buenos Aires and from sea lions found today in Puerto San Julian, Santa Cruz. Samples from the last two locations are not yet available as the study will take approximately 48 hours.

All these findings and results were carried out within the framework of surveillance actions and health measures implemented nationwide to prevent the disease, which Senasa detailed.

They added, “During the sampling programme, burial sites of suspected dead animals were identified together with local authorities to avoid any type of contamination or contagion from other animals or people.”

Asked whether the disease in marine mammals could affect the health of the animals, the experts explained that this would not happen and that Argentina “is considered a country free of HPAI in domestic poultry”. Regardless, the agency advises “do not handle dead animals or animals with suspicious symptoms.”

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