, December 12 According to Reuters, on the 12th local time, Brazilian authorities said that 10 seals and sea lions in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul have confirmed the death of 942 seals and sea lions due to infection with the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus.

Researchers also found convulsions in some marine mammals on local beaches because their nervous systems were attacked by the virus, the report said.

Silvina Botha, an oceanographer at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, said that according to government health regulations, animals must be euthanized so that they do not die "very painfully". At the same time, Botha recommends burying or incinerating these animal carcasses as soon as possible to reduce the risk of infecting humans or other animals.

Image source: Screenshot of the Reuters report

On 5 May, Brazil reported the first case of avian influenza in wild birds in 15. Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture said that the task force immediately took appropriate measures to prevent an outbreak of avian influenza on poultry farms.

The highly pathogenic avian influenza virus is also circulating in other animal populations, including animals such as seabirds, seals and sea lions, the report said. Brazilian authorities have collected samples from the carcasses of dead porpoises and penguins on beaches, but the results of the tests are not yet available.

In September 2023, the state of Rio Grande do Sul confirmed the first case of marine mammal mortality associated with the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, when the animal mortality rate was abnormal and attracted the attention of experts, Botha said. Currently, there are still outbreaks of avian influenza in 9 towns and cities in the state.

The spread of avian influenza among marine mammals appears to have started in Peru, then Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and now Brazil, Botha said.

Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture reported 148 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the country, most of which occurred in coastal areas. Brazil's government declared a 5-day animal health emergency on May 22.