Brazil declares animal health emergency post the discovery of several cases of bird flu

The world is experiencing the worst pandemic of bird flu ever recorded.

In addition to birds, some feral mammals, including seals, otters, wild dogs, and foxes, are now infected. Since a century ago, poultry and wild animals have been infected with avian influenza. Typically, it crops up in autumn and subsides in spring and summer.

In 1996, the H5N1 virus, which is currently the most prevalent strain, was first identified in China. It can spread rapidly through whole flocks of domestic birds in a matter of days, via droppings, saliva, or contaminated feed and water.

Since the pandemic began in October 2021, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) reports that an unprecedented number of bird flu outbreaks have been reported in regions across the globe.

Brazil has proclaimed a six-month animal health emergency following the discovery of multiple cases of avian influenza in wild birds. A total of eight cases have been reported. One in the state of Rio de Janeiro and seven in the state of Espirito Santo.

The emergency declaration makes it simpler for the government to implement measures to stop the spread of the highly contagious H5N1 virus. Brazil is the largest exporter of poultry meat in the world, with nearly $10 billion (£8 billion) in annual sales.

Authorities report that the cases were discovered far from Brazil's principal agricultural regions in the south of the country. However, outbreaks in commercial colonies have occasionally been observed following the discovery of cases of avian influenza in wild birds.

The discovery of an infected bird on a farm typically results in the slaughter of a significant number of birds and may in some instances cause other nations to impose trade restrictions. As a measure of prudence, the public health emergency has been declared to exist throughout the entirety of the nation for the next three months.

Since October 2021, the world has been enduring the most severe outbreak of bird flu that has ever occurred, which has resulted in the passing of an unprecedented number of free-flying birds. There have been reports of the disease appearing in some mammalian species.

However, the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) has reported that the outbreak has had disastrous effects on the health and wellbeing of animals around the world. Scientists are still wondering why this outbreak is proven to be so much worse than previous.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it will be necessary to keep a close eye on the further spread of the H5N1 virus in order to determine whether or not it is changing into a form that may be transmitted between humans.

People who come into close contact with diseased birds are the most likely to contract the disease and spread it to other people. This outbreak has resulted in the death of an unprecedented number of wild birds, with marine birds suffering disproportionately high mortality rates. Dozens of different species, such as buzzards, golden eagles, gannets, and gulls, have all been shown to be infected with the virus.