SENASA recommends ‘precautionary measures’ against spread of bird flu in sea lions

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Photo: Maxi Jonas (file photo).

The National Agri-Food Health and Quality Service (SENASA) has issued a series of “preventive measures and recommendations” to the public in response to sea lion deaths that may have been affected by bird flu in different parts of the Atlantic coast.

“Based on the current situation, due to the detection of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in marine mammals, sanitation has been put in place and precautionary recommendations have been made to institutions and the public”SENASA said in a statement.

Judging from the notice Sea lions with symptoms and/or death associated with HPAI“Everyone participated in accordance with the epidemiological actions corresponding to the emergency management of avian influenza.”

In light of the positive laboratory diagnosis, “an intervention program was implemented with municipal, provincial and national institutions, coordinating strategies and health tasks to control the outbreak”.

Senasa Cooperate with national, provincial and municipal wildlife and biodiversity authorities to deal with cases of wildlife.

However, SENASA has clarified “In any case where wild animals such as sea lions are suspected of being infected with bird flu, it will not perform a sanitary culling”.

“The samples used for laboratory diagnosis were performed on animals that died of the disease or were sick and those buried at the site (to avoid transmission of the virus) were animals that died of the disease,” the release added .

In making their recommendations, they noted that because the virus is present in the secretions and excreta of sick or dead animals, “Institutions and the public are reminded not to approach dead animals or animals with suspicious symptoms if death, neurological, digestive and/or respiratory symptoms are found in wild and domestic marine mammals or birds (primarily including ducks, hens), Please inform SENASA, chicken, rooster, goose, turkey)”.

Therefore, SENASA reminds, “In the presence of wild animals, such as sick or dead birds and sea lions, do not approach and avoid direct contact.”

Additionally, “responsible management of pet owners by limiting their access to beaches with sick or dead animals” and “immediate notification of the presence of sick or dead wildlife.”

Regarding the epidemiological situation, SENASA emphasized that recent detections in marine mammals “do not affect the animal health status declared to the World Organization for Animal Health (OMSA), and Argentina maintains the status of a country free of HPAI in poultry”.

According to the organization’s guidelines, the disease is likely to be present in subpopulations of wild animals, and subpopulations of poultry can be protected from the disease through biosecurity measures and surveillance.

Finally, the agency said it “will continue to work with different regional, national, provincial, municipal organizations and production sectors to maintain a state of alert and epidemiological surveillance in an effort to contain the spread of the disease.” ”

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