Sea lions in Necochea and Santa Cruz die from bird flu

The Senasa laboratory diagnosed Thursday that the deaths of sea lions in Necochea (Buenos Aires) and Puerto Loyola (Santa Cruz) were due to “new cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5” .

The National Laboratory of the National Food Sanitation and Quality Service (Senasa) diagnosed “new positive samples of the disease from sea lions (Otaria flavescens) found dead in Port Kekken, Port Necochea, and Port Loyola” , via 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 collected additional sea lion samples on Wednesday in Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, and on Thursday 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 of these findings and outcomes are the health measures being taken across the country 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.”

Télam asked whether such diseases in marine mammals would affect animal health, and they 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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