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A case of a penguin affected by the virus has already been reported in Antofagasta.
The director of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca), Soledad Tapia Almonacid reported on Thursday that the laboratory of the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) confirmed the detection of the first case of avian influenza in a sea lion.
According to Sernapesca Director, "the specimen stranded sick on El Huáscar beach in the Antofagasta region." Tapia added that "it is a male, adult, of approximately 250 kilos, that presented respiratory problems."
Sernapesca's protocol for strandings of marine animals will be activated said the agency noting this is the first case of a marine mammal affected by the virus.
Tapia called on the population to "not to handle live or dead stranded marine animals, not to feed them, to keep their distance and to inform Sernapesca immediately."
The National Director of Sernapesca, Soledad Tapia, confirmed today the first positive case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a sea lion in Antofagasta, after the laboratory confirmation of the Agriculture and Livestock Service.
Both in the United States and in Peru, sea lions affected by avian influenza had already been recorded," said Sernapesca Director. In Chile, it has already been detected in wild birds in 11 regions.
The virus has been detected in 21 species of wild waterfowl, since the emergency began in the country, said Sernapesca noting the pelican has been the most affected.
Several countries in the region have detected cases such as Ecuador, Perú, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, among others.