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Brazil Reports HPAI in Wild Terns

05/23/2023

The Agricultural Ministry of Brazil has announced that avian influenza, presumably strain H5N1, was isolated from dead terns (Thalasseus acuflavidus) with eight cases reported to the World Organization for Animal Health.  Given that wild birds were involved, this should not impact exports of broiler products that attained close to $10 billion in value during 2022 representing 35 percent of total broiler production.  Most of the affected birds were in the coastal State of Espirito Santo, with a large egg-producing population but with few broilers. The state of Rio de Janeiro yielded one case in a wild bird.

 

Currently, Brazil is alone in maintaining an “influenza-free status” despite the fact that eight nations in South America including neighboring countries have reported outbreaks in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial egg production and broiler parent and growout flocks. Most of the nations in the Americas have reported H5N1 in terrestrial mammals and in the case of Peru and Chile, extensive mortality in marine mammals,

 

It remains to be seen whether Brazil will successfully exclude H5N1 avian influenzas from both backyard poultry and commercial flocks, especially in areas with a high density of broiler production. Appropriate measures have been introduced to prevent, detect and control any possible outbreak according to Carlos Favro, Minister of Agriculture who has declared a 180-day nationwide Animal Health Emergency.