By Busra Nur Cakmak
ANKARA (AA) – Nearly 14,000 birds have been killed by the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus in Peru, according to authorities.
Peru has declared a health alert after its National Forest and Wildlife Service (SERFOR) reported that 13,869 wild seabirds have been found dead in recent weeks.
The figure includes 10,257 pelicans, 2,919 sea boobies, and 614 blue-footed boobies, among other species, read a SERFOR statement.
It said teams have been deployed in several coastal areas, including Piura, Lambayeque, Ancash, Ica, Arequipa, Moquegua, Tacna, and Lima.
The agency advised people to avoid contact with live or dead seabirds and called for vigilance to prevent transmission to “poultry or backyard birds.”
Avian flu is lethal to birds, but does not pose a severe risk to humans, especially if poultry and poultry products such as eggs are cooked properly.
However, the World Health Organization warns infections are possible in humans “with direct or indirect contact with infected live or dead poultry.”