Avian flu seems overwhelming. Disease among birds, either wild, backyard or commercial, is spreading. The last few days have been particularly stressful for the industry in Latin America.

Some have chosen a solution: vaccination. Avian flu vaccines are readily available, are proven to work and may alleviate the problem, at least in part. Mexico has been vaccinating against avian flu. So far, results have been good in terms of easing the impact on production. Many would argue that Mexico does not export poultry, and yes, that is a fact. But considering the situation, it has been a solution.

Peru announced this week the technical guidelines to vaccinate against avian flu as a prevention and control measure. A total of 13 vaccine registrations have been evaluated, although so far only one has been accepted. Soon, more will be allowed. Vaccines will be directly obtained by the poultry industry.

After 17 detected and controlled outbreaks, Ecuador started massive avian flu vaccination in commercial birds. Vaccination will be carried out first in those provinces where outbreaks were initially detected. The first contingent of 4 million doses were acquired, and 10 million more have been authorized.

Last month, Colombia announced the creation of an avian flu vaccine bank, as part of the prevention and control strategy of the disease. Although it is not yet authorized, the Colombian poultry sector is ready to go when needed.

Argentina halted exports this week, a self-imposed restriction that was eased later on with egg product exports resuming to Japan. Now, here we have a country with avian flu that exports. This condition makes decision making much tougher, but many say, behind the scenes, that vaccination will be approved, eventually.

So, paraphrasing my colleague Austin Alonzo, are we facing a new normal with avian flu? Do we need to leverage from the lessons learned by others in terms of controlling impacts and outbreaks? Eradication is about to becoming impossible.

It has been already said: the industry, regulations and authorities worldwide are not going at the same speed as the disease.

What do you think?