Bird Flu Outbreak Hits Mexico

An outbreak of avian flu in western Mexico has rocked poultry farmers across the country and has killed more than 870,000 birds. While Mexican agricultural officials say that the virus is not communicable to humans, it could pose a serious threat to the Mexican poultry industry.

Avian flu is a highly contagious and potentially dangerous virus affecting various bird species. While it has been known to be zoonotic (communicable to humans), and the late 200s saw fears of global pandemic, the disease’s overall threat to human health remains reasonably low. In addition, Mexican health and agricultural officials who are monitoring the outbreak have reported that this particular strain poses no threat to human health and can be contained.

The Jalisco region of western Mexico is home to much of that nation’s poultry production. Jalisco produces 11 percent of Mexico’s poultry meat and about 50 percent of its eggs. As such, a threat to the health of Jalisco birds could not only pose a serious threat to the nation’s poultry production, but also to production in neighboring states and countries.

Mexican officials have declared an animal health emergency in Jalisco in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus. They have ordered vaccines and drugs from Asia, which has experienced periodic outbreaks of avian flu for decades, and are ramping up domestic pharmaceutical production to combat the flu.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer