President Felipe Calderón announced Wednesday that an outbreak of the H7N3 bird flu virus in western Mexico has been “totally controlled” after 68 days with no reports on new cases.
According to Calderón, more than 22 million hens were slaughtered throughout the country since July, when the Mexican government declared a national animal health emergency.
The epidemic, first detected in June, infected about 1 million poultry and resulted in price increases in chicken and egg products in Mexico.
In 2009 H1N1, also known as swine flu, broke out in Mexico, becoming a global pandemic that claimed the lives of 17,000 people.
The United States Department of Agriculture initially stated that the outbreak of H7N3 bird flu virus began in Jalisco, México. Out of 58 farms sampled, the virus was identified in 24 farms. Mexico’s poultry flock number around 477.5 million birds, according to data from the industry released in 2011.
Jalisco is responsible for more than 50 percent of egg production in the country. In all there were 14.4 million birds at risk or exposed, and over 900,000 birds died. Despite the outbreak and a price increase, egg supply in Mexico was guaranteed thanks in part to massive imports from the U.S.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.