Sunday, July 21, 2024

Advisory: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5NI

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The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise (MAFSE), the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change & Disaster Risk Management, the Regional International Organization for Agricultural Health (OIRSA) and the Belize Poultry Association (BPA) inform the public that Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 has recently been confirmed in pelicans on the coast of Puerto Cortes and La Ceiba, Honduras.
Additionally, HPAI H5N1 was confirmed in Yucatan, Mexico in November 2022. Given the proximity of the infected areas to Belize, the threat level has been increased to high. Belize is therefore strengthening the technical and strategic response, using the One Health approach, to reduce the threat. This approach includes:
1. Strengthening the inspections of passengers and vessels at all points of entry;
2. Restricting the importation of poultry and poultry products originating from infected countries;
3. Testing and proper disposal of confiscated poultry and poultry products;
4. Strengthening laboratory capacity for in-country molecular testing of the current HPAI circulating strain including surge capacity;
5. Strengthening passive surveillance by encouraging the reporting of mortality, purple coloration in comb and wattle and acute drop in egg production in poultry within the required twenty-four (24) hours;
6. Promoting the reporting of mortality in wild birds and reducing response time;
7. Strengthening active surveillance programs focusing on high-risk areas that are habitats for wild birds and border buffer zones;
8. Strengthening and maintaining high levels of biosecurity in poultry establishments;
9. Fostering partnerships with the public and private stakeholder agencies;
10. Fostering partnerships with the Forest Department and mandated wildlife partners.
High mortality in birds is reportable to BAHA within twenty-four (24) hours. Reports can be made to BAHA, MAFSE, Forest Department, MOHW, BPA, or any registered veterinarian.
The BAHA veterinary services can be contacted at: phone: 824-4872 or 302-1388, WhatsApp: 614-6891, e-mail: [email protected], and website: www.baha.org.bz
Help us to ensure that Belize remains free of Avian Influenza.

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