Bird Flu Detected at Poultry Farm in Belize

BELMOPAN, Belize, CMC – The Belize Agricultural Health Authority has placed a poultry farm in Blue Creek Village under quarantine after detecting the Avian influenza or Bird flu in its animals.

The Bird flu is an infectious type of influenza that spreads among birds.

In rare cases, it can affect humans.

The authority said that the farm currently houses over 25, 000 chickens and containment measures are being put in place to restrict poultry products exiting the Blue Creek community.

It said that this is being done to ensure that the poultry industry is being protected against further introductions of the disease.

Other measures being carried out include the implementation of movement control of live birds, eggs, and litter.

“At this point in time, we have identified only one infected farm with Avian Influenza in Blue Creek. The subtype is H5. When we diagnose either H5 or H7 we implement immediate control measures to control and eradicate the disease, given influenza is a viral disease, a very infectious, contagious that could have high mortality,” said Miguel Depaz, director of the animal health department at the authority.

“There is some degree of mortality, yes, but we must understand that the pathogenic of the virus can be either low or high. But, whether it is low or high it requires immediate action by BAHA to control the disease because whether low or high it can create a negative impact on the industry.

“We do not want to allow live poultry to move out of the area. We are uncertain what the situation is at the moment, so live poultry has the highest risk of spreading the virus and other products, processed products, less risk, but we still want to put some restrictions,” he added.

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