Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced on Wednesday that an outbreak of the H7N3 bird flu virus in Jalisco state in western Mexico  has been “totally controlled” after 68 days with no reports of new cases.

The epidemic, first detected in June, resulting in the culling of 22 million birds, when the Mexican government declared a national animal health emergency.  “We are entering the stage of eradication of the H7N3 virus,” Calderon said, stressing that the control of the disease is the result of “great effort of the government and producers.”  The establishment of a sanitary quarantine line and the development of an “effective vaccine against the disease are crucial to control the virus quickly and decisively,”  he said.

Jalisco is responsible for more than 50 percent of egg production in Mexico.  The outbreak caused egg prices to rise significantly in Mexico. The country authorized imports to make up for the shortage and meet demand, bringing  in 14,000 metric tons of eggs, mostly from the United States.