Costa Rica has reported its first ever confirmed instance of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

The case, which involved brown pelicans was confirmed on January 23 and reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). Testing was conducted at the National Agrarian Health Service of Peru (SENASA) national laboratory. Those tests showed that the virus was of the H5 subtype, according to the WOAH report, but the N type was not given.

The birds were found at a natural park in Cahuita. Two of the pelicans died, while the other two were euthanized and disposed of.

According to the WOAH report, epidemiological surveillance is being reinforced in the area, quarantine measures are being applied, as well as control of animal movements, awareness and cleaning and disinfection in contaminated areas.


Other countries in Central America to have had confirmed cases of HPAI include Honduras and Panama, although none of them have had any cases in commercial poultry.

Also, in Latin America, Mexico has lost approximately 5.5 million head of commercial poultry.

In South America, positive cases have been confirmed in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Chile. However, of those countries, only Peru and Ecuador have reported confirmed cases in commercial poultry farms.

Read our ongoing coverage of the global avian influenza outbreak.