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Bird flu outbreak on Mexican farms

By Carina Perkins , 14-Jan-2013

Related topics: Industry & Markets

Mexico has reported outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza at two egg farms in the state of Aguascalientes.

Mexico’s National Service of Health, Food Safety and Quality (SENASICA) said its first notification was on 3 January that birds were showing clinical signs of the disease, with 740 birds left dead on one farm. Laboratory testing confirmed that the birds had been infected by the AH7N3 strain of the virus, with genetic sequencing that was 99% similar to the outbreak that occurred in Jalisco last year.

However, a report on the outbreak from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) said the situation was already under control because “timely notification from the farmer and surveillance activities allowed immediate depopulation of the two affected production units”, with a total of 284,000 hens culled.

SENASICA chief director Enrique Sanchez Cruz said six other farms in the area had been tested for the disease, but had returned negative results. Authorities have implemented a vaccination programme in the affected region to minimise risk of further outbreaks.

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