Mexican authorities confirmed last week that there had been an outbreak of highly pathogenic H7N3 bird flu on a farm in the state of Puebla.
The National Service of Health, Food Safety and Food Quality (SENASICA) said that it had been alerted that birds on a farm in the town of Palmar de Bravo were showing signs of the disease earlier this month. Samples were sent for testing and came back positive for H7 bird flu.
The agency said that preliminary investigations suggested the virus originated from laying hens, which had been introduced to the farm from other states. It added that Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) had ordered immediate implementation of bird flu actions in the area, and that 55,000 birds had been slaughtered on the farm, which had been thoroughly disinfected.
Additionally, SENASICA inspectors have stepped up surveillance and visited 271 farms in Puebla, collecting 12,000 samples, but have so far not found any other birds suffering from the virus.
The agency has distributed more than 33 million doses of vaccine to over 100 commercial poultry farms in the region and movement control has been imposed on birds and poultry products in the area. The outbreak has also been reported to the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE).
Meanwhile, China, which continues to battle H7N9 bird flu, has announced an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu on a farm in the village of Qionglin in Linzhi, Tibet.
The country’s Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) informed the OIE that 35 birds had died after exhibiting symptoms of the disease and had tested positive for the virus. Officials destroyed 341 chicken and 31 geese in a bid to prevent the virus spreading and have sterilised the farm and surrounding area.
Poultry movement controls have been imposed in the surrounding area.