Surely you know, dear readers, that "The Force Awakens" is the title of Episode VII of the Star Wars saga and I thought it would be good to use it for avian flu in the real world. Why? Because it seems to awaken, although — to tell the truth — it has not fallen asleep. The devil looks after himself!
Eight months after the last occurrence of avian influenza in Mexico, a notification was published on March 10, 2018 about a couple of outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza H7N3 in the states of Guanajuato and Querétaro in central Mexico. But Mexico is not the only country: so far this month, the OIE has published notifications of outbreaks of avian influenza of various pathogenicity’s in Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, Iraq, Italy, France and the USA.
In this Mexican case, it is striking that 500 hens affected from one of the foci allegedly came from the state of Jalisco from a farm with vaccination (verified by serology). The introduction of those hens presumably affected susceptible birds.
This alleged movement of birds was done by intermediaries in an irregular manner, according to the National Health Service, Food Safety and Food Quality (Senasica) of Mexico. It is worth noting that there are checkpoints on the roads where the police must verify the documentation when moving birds from one area to another. It must also be remembered that vaccination does not provide 100 percent protection.
What does it take to have a better road surveillance? But, above all, how much longer will these intermediaries need before they understand that these commercial transactions are pyrrhic, inflicting more damage than the victory was worth? How many small batches of 500 hens have they scattered around?
Here is a positive note: epidemiological surveillance works. “The findings were the result of active epidemiological surveillance carried out by the agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), to prevent the spread of the virus and continue with the work necessary to detect its presence in a timely manner."
In addition, the foci were resolved and the virus was not identified in commercial farms, so there was no impact on the national poultry production.
We must redouble our efforts in biosecurity. We must redouble efforts in national self-esteem. What do you think?