Peru has confirmed three cases of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza in sea lions, and one case in a dolphin, according to a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
The cases were reported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MINAGRI) and involve three sea lions found dead on an island off the coast of Peru. The samples were taken to the National Institute of Health (INS) for testing, and the results confirmed that they had been infected with the H5N1 strain of avian influenza.
In addition, a dead dolphin was found on the same island and samples were sent to the same laboratory. The results of the tests also confirmed the presence of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation has taken a number of precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. These include increased surveillance for other cases, increased biosecurity measures, and reporting of any new cases to the Ministry.
The strain of H5N1 avian influenza has been known to cause severe disease and death in birds, and is capable of infecting other species, including humans. However, there is no evidence that the virus has been transmitted from birds to sea lions or dolphins in this case.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation has urged the public to take appropriate measures to protect themselves from the virus, including avoiding contact with sick or dead animals, and to practice good hygiene. They have also advised people to seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of the virus.