FAO predicts a new bird flu crisis in 2024

The Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) called on the countries of the region to maintain a state of alert and collaborate with notification systems to confront better way the impact of the new avian influenza season, which due to its evolution is considered an “unprecedented situation.”

Within the framework of the III Regional Meeting of Response to the Emergency of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) held this Thursday in Santiago de Chile, the effect of this virus was estimated for 2024, and it is expected that this will be equal to or greater than last year , in which 12.5 million birds died or had to be sacrificed to contain the disease.


According to FAO analyses, this new migration season of birds traveling from the north of the continent to the south has a high probability of maintaining behavior similar to the last one.

In the United States, for example, nearly 100 new outbreaks have been recorded in the last 30 days, and in Mexico a recurrence of the H5N1 virus has been recorded in the state of Sonora since last October.


Although highly pathogenic avian influenza has not had a direct impact on human health due to the consumption of poultry meat or eggs, it does create a problem for livestock farmers in the region considering that 20.4% of the influenza is produced in the area. poultry meat and 10% of eggs worldwide.

In the meeting in which delegates from the official veterinary services of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama, Peru and Venezuela participated, as well as senior representatives of the World Organization for Animal Health and the Pan American Health Organization requested technical and logistical support from FAO in order to contain the spread of the disease on the continent.


“It has been a year of a lot of work due to the emergency, but at the same time of learning and collaboration. This group of countries heeded the call of the FAO to address it as a regional disease. Thanks to transparent and active collaboration, with real data, we have been able to suggest measures that benefit the entire region, building a roadmap to keep the risk of introduction and dissemination at controlled levels,” said Andrés González, Sustainable Livestock official, Animal Health and Biodiversity of the FAO regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean.