Brazil, the world’s biggest chicken exporter, has confirmed its first ever cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus – H5N1 in three wild birds.
The disease has not been found in commercial poultry and the infection in wild birds does not affect Brazil’s status as a HPAI free country meaning other WHO member countries should not impose import bans on Brazilian poultry products.
Two seabirds were found on the coast of Espírito Santo. On Monday, after the end of epidemiological investigations, the detection of HPAI in a third migratory bird was also confirmed.
Material for diagnosis, biological samples were collected by the state veterinary officer (SVO) and sent to the Federal Laboratory of Agricultural Defence of São Paulo (LFDA-SP), reference unit of the World Organization for Animal Health (WHO), which confirmed H5N1. These are the first cases of HPAI recorded in Brazil.
Currently the world is experiencing the largest pandemic of HPAI and most cases are related to the contact of migratory wild birds with commercial poultry or local wild birds.
New sanitary measures may now be adopted by Brazil’s state agricultural health agencies to prevent the spread of HPAI and protect the poultry industry.