After conducting an epidemiological investigation, the National Service for Agrifood Health, Safety and Quality ( Senasica ) detected the outbreak of the AH5N1 avian influenza virus in three farms in the interior of the state of Aguascalientes. As a result, they implemented the quarantine and will strengthen surveillance to prevent the spread of the pathogen to other regions.
According to the official report, the three broiler farms were located in the municipalities of Aguascalientes, as well as in Asientos and Rincón de Romos. In order to prevent dispersion, the General Directorate of Animal Health (DGSA) imposed a definitive quarantine in the three poultry production units that housed 826,800 birds.
Influenza AH5N1, also known as bird flu, is considered highly pathogenic, that is, it has a high chance of causing disease with strong and severe symptoms in the host. In addition, it can spread rapidly, so there is a risk of causing high mortality rates in different species of birds.
The AH5N1 influenza virus can affect different species of birds (Mike Powles/Getty Images)
According to the Pan American Health Organization ( PAHO ), most avian influenza viruses are not zoonotic, that is, they cannot be easily transmitted between animals and humans. However, some strains with a high degree of pathogenicity may have the ability to spread to people, thus representing a “threat to public health”.
The main route of transmission from birds to humans is direct or indirect contact with infected animals. However, there is also the spread of the virus through contact with environments or surfaces contaminated by feces, as well as handling carcasses and preparing birds for consumption.
“When avian influenza is transmitted to humans, symptoms in people can range from a mild upper respiratory infection (fever and cough) to severe pneumonia , acute respiratory distress syndrome (difficulty breathing), shock and even death”, reported PAHO, so it is recommended to see a doctor in case of suspicion of contagion of the virus.
The migration of wild birds at the end of winter is one of the factors that enhance the spread of the bird flu virus (Sebastian Carrasco/Europa Press)
In this sense, some of the measures implemented by the veterinarians of the United States-Mexico Commission for the Prevention of Foot-and-Mouth Disease and other Animal Diseases (CPA) consist of the depopulation, cleaning, and disinfection of the three farms to comply with the sanitary vacuum and, later, find out the degree of security to return to house new bird populations later.
Another of the sanitary determinations applied consisted of the epidemiological review of family and commercial farms located within 10 kilometers of the infected agricultural production units ( UPA ), as well as internal quarantine in the state of Aguascalientes.