Swine flu detected in Chilean turkeys: vets

August 21, 2009

An outbreak of swine flu has been detected in two turkey farms in Chile, government veterinary services in the country said.

If confirmed, it would be the first infection reported in birds. So far, the has affected humans and pigs.

"The presence of an A(H1N1) virus has been detected in two farms in the Valparaiso region," just west of the capital Santiago, the Chilean agriculture ministry said in a statement issued late Thursday.

"Precautionary measures designed to avoid a spread of the disease to protect the health of propulation were immediately taken," it said.

The World Organization for Animal Health, based in Paris, said it had not as yet received notification of that or any swine flu infection in fowl.

According to Chilean authorities, the alert over the turkey farms was raised August 13 when the company running the properties noticed a sudden drop in egg production.

The farms have been put under quarantine, and officials said other measures had been taken to guarantee that consumers of Chilean turkeys and derivative products, both in the country and abroad, would not be at risk.

"There is no evidence of the disease being present in the rest of the country," the agriculture ministry said.

A senior health ministry official, Jeanette Vega, said that the virus found in the turkeys was not a mutated form of the A(H1N1) virus, and that the birds had likely caught the illness from humans.

"What happened in this case is that we, human beings, infected the turkeys. The virus identified in the is the human sort -- there is no mutation," she said.

However there were concerns that a transmission of the virus to birds could point to a possible mutation of A(H1N1) in the future. It was feared swine flu could combine with a form of to produce a virulent and more deadly virus.

Chile is one of the countries worst-hit by A(H1N1) in South America, the region which accounts for over 70 percent of the 1,800 deaths worldwide.

According to the latest bulletin by Chile's health ministry, published on Wednesday, 116 people have died of . Another 12,000 people were treated for infections of the virus.

Authorities in the country say the rate of contamination in the population is slowing.

(c) 2009 AFP

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatments

October 17, 2017
Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning.

Portable 3-D scanner assesses patients with elephantiasis

October 17, 2017
An estimated 120 million people worldwide are infected with lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic, mosquito-borne disease that can cause major swelling and deformity of the legs, a condition known as elephantiasis. Health-care ...

New tools to combat kidney fibrosis

October 16, 2017
Interstitial fibrosis – excessive tissue scarring – contributes to chronic kidney disease, which is increasing in prevalence in the United States.

How hepatitis C hides in the body

October 13, 2017
The Hepatitis C (HCV) virus is a sly enemy to have in one's body. Not only does it manage to make itself invisible to the immune system by breaking down communication between the immune cells, it also builds secret virus ...

Largest study yet of malaria in Africa shows historical rates of infection

October 12, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with members from the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the University of Oxford and the University of KwaZulu-Natal has conducted the largest-ever study of the history of malaria ...

Promising new target for treatment of psoriasis is safe, study shows

October 11, 2017
A protein known to play a significant role in the development of psoriasis can be prevented from functioning without posing a risk to patients, scientists at King's College London have found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.