This story has been percolating through the Spanish language press since yesterday afternoon, but thus far Mexico’s Agricultural Ministry (Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación; SAGARPA) and National Health Service, Food Safety and Food Quality (SENASICA ) websites remain silent on the reports.
While official confirmation is still lacking, the following (translated) report - issued this morning by El Siglo de Torreon - is not only the latest, but one of most detailed account that I’ve run across.
CULIACÁN, Sinaloa.- Over half a million laying hens be sacrificed in southern Sinaloa due to infection of H5N2 avian flu that has spread in the area, announced Juan Guerra Ochoa, Secretary of Agriculture of the State.
The official said the company Sinaloa name El Rosario SPR "Egg Champion" is quarantined due to illness.
"The outbreak was detected on 21 July and 24 July, the company was in quarantine, unable to leave or enter any bird, nor products, be slaughtered 512 000 birds.
He explained that the borders of Sinaloa were closed to the import and export of products to prevent the virus from spreading, but said that there is no risk of being transferred to other farms.
"It is given a final quarantine, that the next step is the slaughter of all animals and not let anything in or out so that it will not spread to other places," he said.
Guerra Ochoa explained that the virus apparently came from the State of Jalisco, while Wednesday held a meeting with the head of Senasica, Enrique Sanchez Cruz, to address the issue.
Other media reports overnight include Detect bird flu outbreak in the municipality of Rosario, Sinaloa and 512 000 birds slaughtered bird flu outbreak in Sinaloa farm.
While one might be tempted to assume this is a spillover of HPAI H5N2 from migratory birds, such as we’ve seen recently in the United States and Canada, these reports don’t indicate the pathogenicity (LP or HP) of the virus.
As Mexico has a long history of LPAI (low pathogenic) H5N2 outbreaks going back more than 20 years, this may simply be a reoccurrence of their native LPAI H5N2 virus. We’ll have to await further details to know one way or the other.
So far this year, only two other outbreaks of avian flu have been reported by Mexican authorities to the OIE, and both of those were H7N3 (see OIE Notification On H7N3 In Chiapas Wild Birds).
There are references in the media reports to this H5N2 virus having been imported from a farm in Jalisco, but the last outbreak reported from that state (2012-2014) was the H7N3 virus.