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Avian flu in Venezuela: where are there cases and what is the risk

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  • Avian flu in Venezuela: where are there cases and what is the risk

    La gripe aviar A(H5N1) en Venezuela ha causado la muerte de más de 170 pelícanos de Anzoátegui y mantiene a otros estados en alerta

    Avian flu in Venezuela: where are there cases and what is the risk
    HEALTH DECEMBER 12, 2022 09:57
    Mariana Souquett Gil |

    Venezuela identified a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus for the first time in its territory this November 2022, becoming one of the eight countries in the Americas region to detect an outbreak of avian influenza in wild, domestic or poultry farmed birds...

    ...2️⃣Where is there bird flu in Venezuela?

    In November 2022, dead pelicans began to appear in the Puerto Píritu lagoon , located in the area of ​​the "Luis Cabeza Martínez" recreational ecological park, in the Fernando de Peñalver municipality, north of Anzoátegui state.

    The fishermen who live in the area notified the situation to workers of the National Institute of Parks of Venezuela (Inparques), reported the mayor of Peñalver, Carlos "Valy" Marcano. They were birds of the species Pelecanus occidentalis, pelicans that live on the coasts and feed on fish.

    On November 17, the State Directorate of the Ministry for Ecosocialism (Minec) in Anzoátegui reported on social networks the start of the investigation, by a multidisciplinary team, to determine the causes of death.

    According to the Omsa, the necropsy of four birds was carried out and tissue samples were obtained and sent to the laboratories.

    The samples were taken by the National Institute of Comprehensive Agricultural Health (Insai) and sent to the Rafael Rangel National Institute of Hygiene, where they identified the H5 subtype, and were finally delivered to the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (Ivic), which was in charge of sequencing. the virus, explained virologist Flor Pujol, head of the Molecular Virology laboratory at Ivic, during a broadcast by the Venezuelan Society of Infectious Diseases (SVI).

    The first week of December, the national authorities declared a health alert in Anzoátegui, Sucre, Nueva Esparta, La Guaira and Miranda for 90 days after confirming that it was the influenza A(H5N1) virus, the predominant subtype in the current epidemic period. .
    3️⃣How many cases of avian flu are there in Venezuela?

    According to the Insai's animal health bulletin on avian influenza, published on December 5, only one outbreak of avian influenza A(H5N1) has been confirmed in Venezuela: that of Puerto Píritu, which up to that date totaled 172 dead pelicans. That same figure appears in the WHO World Health Information System ( Wahis ).

    The Insai bulletin highlights that there are also 10 other suspicious reports between Anzoátegui, Miranda, Nueva Esparta and Sucre, where they have recorded a total of 48 dead pelicans.

    Among the suspicious places identified are Guanta (Anozátegui); Juan Griego and Paraguachí (Nueva Esparta); the Araya and Mochima Peninsula (Sucre); Higuerote and Rio Chico (Miranda).

    According to the governor of Anzoátegui, Luis José Marcano, as of December 6, it was estimated that 250 birds had died in Peñalver. According to the official, by that date the number of deaths began to drop, with only six deaths in six days, compared to 20 deaths in the first reports.

    As the probable cause of the outbreak in Puerto Píritu, the Insai points to migratory birds from North America. According to the Wahis system, the avian influenza virus identified in Venezuela corresponds to the clade ...