Bird flu kills seals and sea lions – level 3

01-11-2023 07:00

Authorities in southern Brazil have reported the discovery of 522 dead seals and sea lions along the coast, attributing this mass mortality to avian flu.

Brazil had declared an animal health emergency due to avian flu, initially found in wild birds and more recently among marine mammals. Despite being the world’s leading chicken exporter, Brazil has not recorded any cases in domesticated birds or commercial poultry. The dead seals and sea lions were scattered along the coast, with some found near the border with Uruguay, which also reported seal and sea lion deaths due to avian flu. Peru, Chile, and Argentina have reported similar cases in marine animals.

Despite these findings, Brazil is still considered free of avian flu in its poultry operations, and consuming poultry or eggs poses no risk to public health.

Difficult words: mass mortality (the death of a large number of animals at the same time), avian flu (a disease that affects birds, known as bird flu), poultry (chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese).

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What strategies can the Brazilian government put in place to mitigate further avian flu-related mass mortality events in marine mammals?


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