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Peruvian authorities recommend restricting access to beaches with bird flu cases

Peruvian authorities agreed on Monday to recommend to the country’s local governments to restrict access to beaches where cases of dead or sick birds due to H5N1 avian flu have been reported, informed today the Ministry of Health (Minsa).

“This means that local governments, within the framework of their competencies, will limit access to beaches by schedules to proceed to clean these spaces and prevent the spread of the disease to the detriment of human health,” it explained in a statement.

The health portfolio indicated that the exhortation was adopted after meeting representatives of the Peruvian National Agricultural Health Service (Senasa) and the National Forestry and Wildlife Service (Serfor).

Within this framework, Senasa and Serfor will be in charge of the protocols and procedures for collecting and disposing of dead birds, as well as the correct implementation of personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers involved in these actions.

Last November, the first cases of dead or sick birds were reported on beaches in all departments of the Peruvian coast, mainly between Tumbes (north) and Moquegua (south), although the southern region of Tacna has been the only region that has not reported any cases to date.

According to the last report presented by Serfor on Nov. 29, 13,869 seabirds had been found dead due to avian flu along most of the coastline, of which 10,257 are Peruvian pelicans and 2,919 are boobies.

On Nov. 24, Minsa issued an epidemiological alert after considering a “potential risk” of H5N1 avian influenza infection between humans and wild birds.

Subsequently, on Nov. 30, Senasa declared a health emergency for 90 days throughout the country after identifying the first outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza in a poultry farm in the Lambayeque region (north).


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