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Latino Daily News

Wednesday August 15, 2012

Mexico Vaccinates 80 Million Birds Against Flu Virus

Mexico Vaccinates 80 Million Birds Against Flu Virus

Photo: AH7N3 Vaccines

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A total of 80 million birds have been vaccinated against the AH7N3 avian flu virus in Mexico, where another 8 million birds have been destroyed, federal health officials said.

Inspections have now been conducted at 426 poultry farms in the Los Altos region of the western state of Jalisco during the 7-week-old emergency health campaign, the National Food Health, Safety and Quality Service, or Senasica, said.

Inspectors found 385 farms to be free of the virus, while 41 farms tested positive for the presence of the AH7N3 avian flu virus, the Senasica said.

“The farms free of the virus have been allowed to move their products to the main markets,” Senasica director Enrique Sanchez said.

A quarantine remains in effect in the high-risk area, with the transportation of poultry products restricted to prevent the spread of the virus.

Officials have also ordered the slaughter of birds that test positive for the AH7N3 virus, the Senasica said.

A total of 11,253 samples from farms in 20 states have been tested, yielding negative results and “giving us scientific evidence to support the idea that the outbreak has been contained for now in the Los Altos zone of Jalisco, where it originated,” Sanchez said.

Avian flu does not pose a danger to people consuming meat or eggs, and the measures being taken are designed to protect poultry production, Sanchez said.

An analysis of the vaccination campaign will be released in the next few days and officials will reveal the next steps to be taken, the Senasica said.

Mexican health officials said in late June that the presence of the avian influenza virus had been detected in Jalisco and took emergency measures to prevent its spread.

The vaccine is being produced by the National Veterinary Biological Production Agency, or Pronabive, with assistance from three private pharmaceutical companies.

Mexico, according to National Poultry Producers Association figures, produces nearly 2.5 million tons of eggs and 1.2 million tons of meat annually.