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Brazil Sets Up Wide Monitoring System to Prevent Bird Flu

The Brazilian Ministries of Agriculture and Environment set up a plan to monitor birds that migrate to Brazil. Veterinarians analyze the birds and collect organic material they leave in Brazilian territory.

According to the Coordinator of Avian Sanitary Control of Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Marcelo Mota, this measure may block entry in the country of the H5N1 virus that causes the Avian Influenza (bird flu).

Mota explained that the period of intense bird migration, when they leave the winter in the Northern hemisphere toward Southern summer, is already over. Now, the country  has entered the season in which the birds fly back to the North.

Veterinarians of both Ministries visit places where birds usually stop, in Brazil, in order to collect samples of their biologic material. According to Mota, a laboratory in São Paulo has analyzed the material, which, up to now, has been found free of the H5N1 virus.

As a precautionary measure, the government decided to control Brazilian ports and airports, where detectors search for biologic material that may transmit the disease. All passengers coming from places with registered cases of bird flu, especially Asia, have their baggage inspected.

In addition, the State Secretariats of Agriculture keep a surveillance system to investigate cases of suspicious bird diseases.

Marcelo added that the world is worried with the disease, and that there was a meeting, in the beginning of the month, in Argentina, to discuss the strategy of the American continent to fight a possible pandemic.

"Countries are establishing plans to prevent the disease. Brazil has been willing to train some countries in the areas of diagnostic and epidemiology, so they will be ready to early detect the infection," he concluded.

Agência Brasil

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