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|Audio: Mar23 May
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Pandemic H1N1 Spread
to Turkey Farms in Chile
The text also highlights the ongoing animal health surveillance maintained by the SAG to detect early onset of diseases affecting domestic poultry population and certify exports, which-according to the company based in La Calera and La Ligua-enabled timely detect this situation.
The above translation describes two pandemic swine flu outbreaks at Turkey farms in Chile (see map). The relationship to pandemic H1N1 has been confirmed, and these outbreaks highlight the expanded host range of the virus. In addition to transmitting efficiently from human to human, the swine vires has been detected in swine in two locations in Canada (Alberta and Quebec), Argentina (northwest and southwest of Buenos Aires), and Australia (New South Wales and Victoria). Moreover, all outbreaks have produced mild disease. The have been no reported swine fatalities, and the turkey outbreaks were signaled by a drop in egg production.
The spread of the swine virus to turkeys is not unexpected. Swine to turkey infections involving human serotypes have been noted previously. However, this is the first report of the pandemic strain in birds, and raises additional concerns of silent spread and further evolution associated with the broad host range, Infection in avian and mammalian species suggests that the pandemic strain may be much more widespread than the confirmed outbreaks delineated above, and more aggressive screening is warranted.
Release of the turkey sequences as well as recent swine sequences would be useful. Initial reports from Argentina indicated those sequences were closely related to the swine in Alberta. The sequences in Australia may be somewhat more distinct, raises concerns of divergent evolution, which could create vaccine issues if these species jumps lead to additional human infections.