The National Health Service, Food Safety and Food Quality (SENASICA) confirmed the presence of highly pathonogenic avian influenza of subtype H7N3 in two municipalities of Jalisco on 20 June. Mexican animal health officials have since visited nearly 150 poultry farms and detected the virus at 10 of them.
Officials have insisted that the outbreak is under control, and that the risk to human health is low. Jose Munoz of the Jalisco state government said: "There is no risk of infection (in humans) as a result of consuming poultry."
However, poultry production contributes to 40% of Mexico’s livestock production, so economic losses could be severe if the disease spreads further.
An animal health emergency has been declared and operations will be activated throughout Mexico in order to prevent further spread of the disease. Under the emergency measures, the country has been divided into eight regions, which will be regulated by SENASICA through the Directorate General of Animal Health (DGSA).
Measures will include co-ordinated action for the diagnosis, prevention, control and eradication of the disease, including quarantine and isolation for affected farms. Surveillance and epidemiological research will be increased and additional sanitary measures, including disinfection, sterilisation and the use of germicides and pesticides, will be enforced. SENASICA has instructed the culling of sick birds or those exposed to avian influenza.