The President of Mexico has announced that a vaccination program to prevent the further spread of contagious bird flu will commence on Thursday, with 10 million birds to receive the initial vaccinations.
Since the outbreak of the H7N3 highly pathogenic virus amongst Mexico's poultry was detected on June 20, over five million birds have died or been slaughtered, costing the Mexican poultry industry an estimated $50 million. The government responded by declaring a national animal emergency.
AFP reported that Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced "we are going to vaccinate hens and chicks across the country to put an end to this bird flu epidemic." The ultimate goal is to vaccinate 80 million birds in an effort to stem the threat to the poultry industry. According to Flu Diary 32,000 jobs are at risk if the epidemic is not brought under control.
Business Insider reported the UN stated "the H7N3 virus has occasionally caused human disease" but is not easily transmittable. The US poultry industry has pledged to support Mexico in its fight against the flu outbreak. Mexico's poultry industry is working in collaboration with the The US Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) to help Mexico deal with the outbreak.
In addition to the vaccination program quarantined areas have been established and epidemiological surveillance activities are on-going.