South America is the latest continent to be threatened by the rapid worldwide spread of bird flu, carried by migratory wild birds.
Both Europe and the United States are suffering the worst bird flu outbreaks in their history. The disease has spread rapidly in Asia and in North America, affecting poultry in Canada and the United States.
Now it is spreading in South America. Poultry World reports that after migrating from North and Central America, the avian flu virus entered South America through Colombia. It soon reached Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and Chile. To date, there have been no reported cases in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay or Uruguay. Brazil is one of the world’s major poultry producing countries, and is the leading poultry exporter.
Ecuador confirmed the first case of avian influenza human transmission in a 9-year-old girl. This marks a rare case of human infection and is the first in South America.
Chile, which was declared free of bird flu in 2020, has just reported the virus in dead birds in the poultry-producing Valparaiso region. Protective measures have been implemented throughout the country.