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News > Uruguay

Uruguay Detects Avian Influenza Virus for First Time

  • So far, some 10 countries in the region have detected cases of avian influenza. Feb. 15, 2023.

    So far, some 10 countries in the region have detected cases of avian influenza. Feb. 15, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@GrahamProle

Published 15 February 2023

The Avian Influenza virus (H5) was detected in Laguna Garzón, departments of Maldonado and Rocha.

According to the Director of Livestock Services, Diego de Freitas, "the death of 5 black-necked swans was confirmed in the border area between Maldonado and Rocha, detecting the presence of the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza virus (H5)."


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The General Directorate of Livestock Services, in a resolution published by the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP), declared a sanitary emergency throughout the country due to the detection of the virus and announced a set of hygienic restrictions. 

In this regard, as the Competent Health Authority, the agency ordered restricting all movements within the national territory of backyard poultry and birds that are not controlled through the Poultry Monitoring System.

It also ordered the suspension of fairs, auctions, exhibitions and events related to avian species and warned about the imposition of sanctions in case of "non-compliance with the provisions of this Resolution."

"There is a reality which is the presence of viral circulation in the region. We have to make every effort to be able to avoid the consequences on the economy." "Europe and the U.S. are very affected by the number of cases of avian flu."

In a press conference, the MGAP minister, Fernando Mattos Costa said that currently, "there is no transmission through food. The consumption of poultry meat, eggs or other poultry products is safe and there is no disease transmission through this route."

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), avian influenza mainly affects domestic birds and is considered highly lethal.

Experts warn of possible contagion in humans who have contact with sick birds, so the authorities recommend extreme care in handling and contact with infected birds.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an epidemiological alert in early January due to the increased detection of disease outbreaks. Some ten countries in the region have detected cases of avian influenza. 

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