The Senasa laboratory diagnosed today that the sea lion deaths in Necochea (Buenos Aires) and Puerto Loyola (Santa Cruz) were due to “new cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5” . They collected other sea lion samples yesterday in Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, and 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.
The National Laboratory of the National Food Hygiene and Quality Service (Senasa) diagnosed “new positive samples of the disease from sea lions (Otaria flavescens) found dead in Puerto Quiquen, Necochea and Loyola,” Informed 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.
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.”
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.”