Mexico reports 8 more H7N3 outbreaks, culls 800,000 birds
Eight more outbreaks of H7N3 avian flu have struck Mexican chicken farms in recent weeks, prompting the destruction of more than 800,000 birds and the vaccination of 5 million more, Mexican authorities reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) today.
The outbreaks involved two commercial layer farms, two heavy breeder flocks, three broiler flocks, and a backyard farm in four different states: Jalisco, Puebla, Guanajuato, and Aguascalientes.
The number of susceptible birds totaled 1,049,220, of which 815,034 were destroyed to stop the outbreaks. The report says only three actual cases were reported but notes that information was missing.
In Guanajuato, the outbreaks have prompted the vaccination of 5,512,080 chickens on breeder and layer farms. The earliest outbreaks started on Apr 4 and the latest on May 23.
H5N1 found in smuggled exotic bird
The H5N1 avian flu virus was detected in a group of exotic birds from Asia that were found in suitcases at the Vienna, Austria, airport, the Czech News Agency (CTK) reported yesterday.
The smugglers from the Czech Republic were headed back to their country when officers found the birds during a routine check with two sniffer dogs. The officers apprehended the smugglers and immediately handed the birds, many of which were dead, to health officials for testing, which revealed one of the dead birds was infected with H5N1.
The London Daily Mail said today that the species included wild parrots and birds of paradise that had been sent from Bali to Qatar before they were stopped in Vienna.
South America sees respiratory infection rise
Several South American countries are reporting high levels of acute respiratory infection levels, with increasing trends in most countries, but within expected levels for this time of year, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported today in its weekly update.
So far respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) predominates in most countries, though the 2009 H1N1 flu virus is dominant in Brazil. RSV and seasonal flu viruses, mainly H1N1, are cocirculating in some countries, including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Venezuela.
Locations seeing RSV cocirculation with H3N2 include Bolivia (La Paz), Ecuador, and Peru.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said in its most recent flu update that flu activity is starting to increase in South America and South Africa, but levels are still low in Oceania.
Jun 12 PAHO influenza update
Jun 7 WHO flu update