Last week we told you about suspected cases of Avian Flu emerging from two farms in the Cayo District and today continued surveillance and testing confirmed that one of the two farms have come back with positive results. According to Samples tested by an International reference Laboratory in the USA has confirmed the presence of Avian influenza H5N2 antibodies in one farm only but not the live virus. BAHA continues to test and has detected the presence of Avian Influenza Type A on another farm. There are very few clinical signs in the affected birds, which may indicate a response to the low pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N2 virus. This virus predominantly affects poultry. There is very low risk of transmission from poultry to humans and there is no evidence of human to human transmission.
In a press release issued late this evening by The Belize Agricultural Health Authority, containment measures in effect prohibit all poultry and poultry products from exiting the affected farms. In addition, BAHA has set up other control measures, in the Spanish Lookout area, such as movement control of live birds, eggs, and other poultry products. All poultry farmers are encouraged to strengthen their Biosecurity programs and to notify BAHA of any unusual occurrence in their flocks. BAHA continues to reassure the public that poultry meat and eggs are safe for human consumption. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, the Ministry of Health, BAHA and the Poultry industry are collaborating in a coordinated response against this detection of Avian Influenza H5N2.
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