Costa Rica Reports First Cases of Avian Influenza

Costa Rica Reports First Cases of Avian Influenza

The National Animal Health Service (Senasa) confirmed the detection of the first three cases of avian influenza in wild pelicans found in Cocles beach, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Limón province, this Tuesday.

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The agency said in a statement that the three brown pelicans are currently in quarantine and added that chicken, turkey and eggs are safe to eat.

«The event reported in wild birds in the Costa Rican Caribbean does not affect the export of poultry products, in accordance with the Terrestrial Animal Health Code,» the statement said.  

According to the head of Senasa’s epidemiology department, Alexis Sandí, the disease «was exotic until now in Costa Rica. The identified outbreak is limited to wild birds; it has not been reported in domestic birds.»

A highly pathogenic avian influenza virus has reached South America.

A new #LetterToScience «urge[s] Peruvian and other South American authorities and conservation managers to take steps to track and mitigate the spread of this disease.» https://t.co/CeGnuuh7KI pic.twitter.com/ivLNUz1Vvn

— Science Magazine (@ScienceMagazine)
January 24, 2023

Senasa warns that in the presence of dead or sick birds, «do not approach, do not handle, do not try to rescue or move them» and instead report the incident to the nearest office of the agency.

Given this detection in the country, epidemiological surveillance of backyard species is being intensified, said the agency. It added that personnel responsible for the care and handling of birds are being trained to report suspected cases in a timely manner. 

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert on January 17, as avian influenza outbreaks have been reported in several countries in the region, including Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia and Panama. 

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