Mexican Bird Flu Outbreak: Authorities Slaughter 2.1 Million Infected Chickens
Mexican authorities from the central state of, Mexico have confirmed that bird flu has been detected in the Mexican chicken population, causing 18 farms to slaughter 2.1 million chickens that have been exposed to the bird flu.
Agriculture Sec. Enrique Martinez has indicated at a press conference that 519,000 egg producing hands, along with 900,000 other birds as well as 722,000 reproducing birds have been slaughtered in an attempt to nip this latest infiltration of the bird flu in the bud.
As stated earlier in this article, only 18 farms in the central state of Guanajuato are involved, and the national inventory of chickens is actually 440 million chickens, with the 2.1 million bird slaughtered only 8 mere fraction of the actual number of Mexican chickens on hand in the industry.
The United States does not import any Mexican chicken whatsoever.
This recent outbreak of bird flu is said to be of the H7N3 strain, which is supposedly not transferable to humans. Normally, bird flu is easily transmittable to humans by people who handle either the infected bird when it’s alive, the dead flesh of the bird, or by butchers and the general public handling the meat as well.
That doesn’t necessarily mean this bird flu strain cannot be transmitted to mammals, only that it hasn’t so far.
A vaccination effort for chickens not currently infected with the virus has begun, and 10 million chickens have currently been vaccinated, with stocks of vaccinations being purchased totaling over 50 million.
“Starting tomorrow, we’re going to vaccinate hands and 6 across the country to put an end to this bird flu epidemic,” said Mexican Pres. Felipe Calderon on Wednesday. “In the coming weeks, (we) can end this economic impact on (Mexican) poultry producers.”
Mexican government officials have indicated that it is their primary objective to stop this potential outbreak of bird flu before it spreads outside of Mexico, similar to the way the bird flu discovered in China several years ago infected people worldwide.
Sam Davis Reporting