July 27, 2005


Mexico reports 34 cases of low-pathogenic bird flu



Mexican sanitary authorities have detected low-pathogenic bird flu in 34 farms located in the central state of Queretaro, the Ministry of Agriculture said Tuesday.


The ministry said in a statement that sanitary authorities had taken all measures to bring what the government is calling a detection under control and eradicate any re-occurrence of bird flu in Queretaro.


The low-pathogenic strain of bird flu does not adversely affect humans as seen in Southeast Asian countries but could devastate flocks, according to industry officials. Mexico maintains vigorous sanitary control at all border entries.


The cases were all detected in commercial chicken farms in the central state but have "nothing in common with the kind of cases that have been presented in Asia," said the ministry, quoting local sanitation officials in Queretaro.


Earlier this year, a single case of low-pathogenic bird flu was discovered in the northern Mexican state of Durango by local sanitary control authorities, but it was not reported to international authorities, as only high-pathogenic cases are required to be reported, a ministry official said at the time.


It was not immediately clear how the latest incidents of bird flu reached Mexico, which recently eased an embargo on poultry products from the United States and partially lifted a ban initiated after bird flu incidents in neighbouring Texas.