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H7N3 Control Measures Expand

19 July 2012, at 9:16am

MEXICO - The National Health, Food Safety and Food Quality Service (SENASICA) reported that as a result of the implementation of the National Animal Health Emergency Plan to contain and eradicate the outbreak of H7N3 avian influenza in Jalisco state, they have inspected 253 poultry farms, in 82 of which there was no presence of viruses, another 33 where the virus was confirmed, while the rest continue to be diagnosed. Senior editor, Chris Wright, reports.

SENASICA’s report, with information updated on 16 July, indicates that the 82 poultry farms which do not have the presence of exotic viruses have been issued an official certificate to allow them to move their products to market, since they do not represent a risk to poultry or consumers.

The farms that have confirmed the H7N3 avian influenza virus remain under quarantine and isolation, in order to control movement and prevent live birds, waste and litter from moving to virus-free regions.

SENASICA will keep the Emergency Plan in place on commercial farms and backyard poultry in the Los Altos region of Jalisco state, mainly in the towns of Acatic and Tepatitlan, with a flock of 16.5 million birds, primarily egg layers, of which 9.3 million are found within the surveillance area.

It has also expanded the scope of review into areas adjacent to the initial quarantine area in order to protect the birds in the buffer zone. As a method of control and eradication of the virus, 3.8 million birds have been depopulated under stringent animal health protocols established by international organizations.

This measure allows the containment of the virus in the area, said SENASICA.

They currently operate eight internal checkpoints and have increased to 43 the number of experts in the region carrying out the tasks of diagnosis, prevention, control and eradication of the virus.

SENASICA reiterates that the H7N3 influenza virus poses no risk to humans, whether they are in contact with birds or poultry products, such as meat and eggs, and that the control measures are intended to protect the commercial poultry production in the area.

National vaccine strategy in place

SENASICA conducted a working meeting with laboratories in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry involved in the production of H7N3 avian influenza vaccine to contain the H7N3 outbreak.

It was confirmed that three laboratories - Avimex, IASA and Ceva - will manufacture in Mexico some 80 million doses of the vaccine. Those will be available later this month to protect a population, initially, of 40 million birds. The production capacity of those companies may reach 350 million doses per month.

Domestic production of the vaccine is made from an H7N3 virus collected in 2006 by Mexican researchers from a wild migratory duck. When the current outbreak started, at the end of June, the duck virus was studied, finding that it could be used as vaccine seed and a pilot vaccine was prepared.

Earlier in the week, Merial Mexico indicated that the company is manufacturing 12 million doses of the vaccine in the European Union. These will be available for the Mexican poultry sector between late July and the first half of August.

Further Reading

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Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.