They reveal why dozens of sea lions have died along the Atlantic coast

Mar del Plata – Bird flu ravages rural areas, infected poultry farms and forced the slaughter of thousands of animals, and in recent days the unexpected: The coast and the habitat of sea lions on the harbor breakwater Kirken and Mar del Plata.

Dozens of deaths have been confirmed in two weeksin addition to cases where these mammals contracted the typical symptomatic behavior of the disease as a result of coexistence with birds in coastal ecosystems, which is evident.

The National Animal Health Service (Senasa) laboratory confirmed the speculation in the last few hours: samples showed All deaths were from highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5. These new studies correspond to the animals found in Quiquen and Punta Loyola, Santa Cruz, Necochea. Previously, they had been verified in Tierra del Fuego and Rionegro.

Sea lions in Mar del Plata.Avian InfluenzaMauro V. Rizzi

Just yesterday, in Mar del Plata, 15 sea lions reported dead at various points along the coast. There is currently no confirmation of these cases, but it is estimated that the origin of this series of cases may be the same virus. Concerns have grown as the number of dead bodies mounts on the Necchins coast. More than 50 people have been seen in recent days, so an interdisciplinary table was coordinated in the emergency, with experts from government agencies, the Port Authority and the Argentine Ministry of the Navy a first measure Access to the marine terminal’s south breakwater is restricted. Although there have been no human cases of bird flu so far, all precautionary measures have been taken to the extreme.

Sea lions in Mar del Plata.Avian InfluenzaMauro V. Rizzi

The applicable protocol for these tables involves dThe final disposal of the remains of these animals is through burial Avoid any type of contamination or contagion from other animals or people.

Likewise, Senasa said recent test results in marine mammals do not affect OMSA’s self-declared animal health status, and Argentina is considered HPAI-free in poultry.

Necochea Minister of Health Andrea Perestiuk emphasized that the priority for the public is to Do not approach any marine taxidermy. “Especially with sea lions, it’s even more so if they’re dying or already dead,” he said, and the message was spread heavily to avoid fallout.

Mar del Plata is also worrisome because it is home to one of the largest sea lion colonies in South America. They meet at one end of the inner South Breakwater at the Marine Terminal, but they are part and great protagonist of the tourist postcard of Puerto Mar del Plata. They usually appear on fishermen’s benches, very close to tourists.

He confirmed to us: “Only this Thursday, they informed us that 15 people died” nation Juan Lorenzani, president of the Argentinian Animals Foundation, said the agency has been focusing on, monitoring and caring for the species for more than 40 years.

Lorenzani himself also contributed nation He recorded a video on the South Breakwater where he noticed A juvenile sea lion has obvious symptoms of bird flu. It comes with warnings of twitches and involuntary movements, the typical neurological effects of the disease on its development.

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Sea lions in Mar del Plata infected with bird flu

The 15 new cases are part of others reported daily, particularly in beach areas. Equipment has arrived there to lift the bodies and prevent them from being exposed to people passing through the area.

As far as the port of Mar del Plata is concerned, access to the South Breakwater has remained restricted since the early hours of this morning as they are using cranes to remove some of the dead animals. In these cases, there is still no definitive cause.

Meanwhile, the deaths of at least seven such marine mammals in the Tierra del Fuego coastal reserve were confirmed to be linked to the disease a few weeks ago. grande river.Due to suspected death, samples were sent to Senasa National LaboratoryAfter diagnosis, H5 bird flu was positive.

“This finding was made within the framework of the HPAI declaration of a state of emergency, Senasa Resolution No. 147/2023, and the surveillance actions and measures implemented nationwide to prevent the disease. maintain the most recent self-declared goal of a nation free from poultry disease”, indicated.In this context, Senasa and Provincial Government and Rio Grande CityA Affected Area Containment and Containment Mission Development Monitoring Committee.

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