Mexico has begun vaccinating 10 million chickens and hens against the bird flu virus in the central west state of Jalisco.
Some five million birds have been slaughtered so far as authorities race to contain the outbreak of the highly-contagious H7N3 virus, which has cost the Mexican poultry industry some $50 million since it was first detected on June 20.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced the initiation of the mass vaccination progamme to put an end to the bird flu epidemic. Calderon said Mexico aims to produce 80 million vaccinations so that “in the coming weeks, (we) can end this economic impact on poultry producers.”
The Mexican government declared a national animal emergency earlier this month and several laboratories have been tasked with making the vaccines.
Such outbreaks are monitored closely in Mexico since H1N1 began there in 2009 before spreading around the world and killing 17,000 people.
In addition to the vaccination program quarantined areas have been established and epidemiological surveillance activities are on-going.