Venezuela reported its first detection of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu in wild birds, as the virus continues to expand southward in the Americas. A notification from the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) said the outbreak began on Nov 16 and the findings were confirmed on Nov 28.
A Venezuelan government statement translated and posted by Avian Flu Diary, an infectious disease news blog, said the outbreak occurred in pelicans in Anzoategui state on the country's north coast. Officials declared a 90-day health alert and quarantine measures for it and three other states.
In a related development, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) updated its recent epidemiologic alert for H5N1 avian flu, warning countries about the increase in outbreaks and urging them to strengthen animal health measures and illness monitoring in people exposed to birds. So far, H5N1 detections in wild birds and poultry have occurred in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
More US outbreaks
Meanwhile, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported more outbreaks in poultry flocks in five states, according to the latest updates.
In Arkansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, Missouri, and South Dakota, the virus struck backyard birds. Also, South Dakota reported another outbreak at a commercial turkey farm, this time a facility in Lake County that houses 78,000 birds.
So far, the outbreaks in US poultry, which began in February, have led to the loss of a record 52.7 million birds in 26 states.Source : umn.edu