An outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed on February 18 in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.  According to the Mexico Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries, and Food (SAGARPA) an outbreak of the bird flu was found in up to 647,742 chickens across nine facilities, seven of which were breeder farms and two commercial layer farms.

The World Health Organization for Animal Health said that, in addition to depopulation activities, over one million doses of the avian flu vaccine have been distributed and strict quarantine and movement control measures for poultry and poultry products have been implemented.  Mexico’s National Service of Health, Food Safety and Quality Laboratory identified and sequenced the virus and confirmed it to be H7N3.

The production facilities involved in the current outbreak are owned by Bachoco, Mexico’s largest chicken producer.  Guanajuato is the third state to be affected since the outbreaks began last year.  Guanajuato is adjacent to Jalisco, the first state to report highly pathogenic avian influenza, the other was Aguascalientas, also adjacent to Jalisco.