Three cases of bird flu detected in Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

“Of the five samples initially examined, three tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza,” the entity said in a statement.

To confirm the cases, “the material collected” will be sent to the state-run National Public Health Institute in the port city of Guayaquil (southwest), he added.

Ecuador said on Sunday it was investigating a possible outbreak of bird flu in the Galapagos Islands after “several apparently sick birds” were found in the northern Pacific archipelago.

The Galapagos, 1,000 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador, is home to “78 species of endemic and native birds, many of which migrate to the mainland coast to feed,” according to the Environment Ministry.

Papua New Guinea noted that it had ordered the closure of visits to the islands of Genovissa, San Cristóbal and Española in order to prevent the spread of the virus in the tourist island province, which also has flora unique in the world. points, there are affected birds on these islands.

Nesting areas of endemic birds such as penguins and cormorants are also monitored.

Environment Minister José Davalos expressed regret at the arrival of the virus in the Galapagos Islands, which have a fragile ecosystem and are part of a biosphere reserve.

The islands are named for the rare giant tortoises that live there and helped British naturalist Charles Darwin develop his theory of species evolution.

Ecuador, which reported its first human case of bird flu in January, declared a 90-day animal health emergency in November after the disease was found on poultry farms on the continent’s territory, where nearly 300,000 animals were infected. slaughter.

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