Bird flu outbreak in Catalonia, Spain

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Detectado un brote de gripe aviar en una granja de gallinas de Cataluña

The autonomous department of Agriculture of Catalonia (Spain) has confirmed a virus H7N1 bird flu outbreak in a farm of breeder chicken in Segrià, Lerida. This situation has forced the slaughtering of 13,000 animals and the disinfectioning of the premises.

The outbreak was detected last 14 May by the own poultry farm when applying the safety plan for poultry health of Catalonia. The degree of effects is considered low, according to some sources of the Department of Agriculture of Catalonia.

The Catalonian Government highlights that the virus infection is under the animal health field and it has affected a poultry farm whose chicken and eggs will not be sold for consumption.

What is more, the Government states that no human infection has taken place, not even for those people who has had contact with those animal inside or outside the farm.

This virus case, which normally affects birds and is rarely transfered to humans, has impacted a farm with 13,000 birds in it and the symptoms eased two days after activating the preventive action protocol.

The department of Agriculture will not specify the exact farm location and has only informed that it is placed on Segrià, a district in Lerida (Spain).

Lleida’s outbreak corresponds to a low-pathogenicity virus A infection, according to the analysis of genome sequencing carried out by referenced accredited laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture, in Algete (Madrid, Spain).

Catalonian Government activated the preventive action protocol which involves taking samples, detenting and slaughtering chicken, and disinfecting the farm. At the same time, it reported the case to the Ministry.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, there is no other poultry farm within a km of distance, which has been established a safety ratio for 30 days. For this reason, the Government does not see the possibility of an illness dissemination.

The analytics carried out on the closest farm -and out of that ratio- had negative results.

The same sources of the Ministry of Agriculture have pointed out that there is no human should be in danger for this outbreak.

Consequently to this facts, Hong Kong Government has temporarily banned poultry and poultry-related products import, including eggs, coming from Catalonia.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture information, given by the Catalonian Government, in the last few years there has been similar low-pathogenicity outbreaks in Navarra, Spain (2009) and in Italy, Germany, Denmark and Netherlands (2010) and Germany, Italy and Netherlands (2011).

Vicente de pablos Vicente
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Vicente de Pablos es Licenciado y Doctor en Veterinaria y Licenciado en Ciencia y Tecnología de los Alimentos.
Profesional especializado en el ámbito de la Seguridad Alimentaria y la Salud Pública