Fowl typhoid disease has been detected in northern Belize. The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) has implemented an emergency poultry disease control measure upon receiving official confirmation from the United States Department of Agriculture laboratory in Ames, Iowa that poultry specimens have tested positive for fowl typhoid in the Orange Walk district.
The most recent outbreak of fowl typhoid in Belize occurred in 1986, when both commercial and backyard poultry were affected throughout the country. Although vaccines are available to control the disease, BAHA, along with the poultry industry, has decided to continue to prohibit vaccination. As a result, emergency control measures are being taken. Fowl typhoid is strictly a bird disease affecting mostly chickens and turkeys.
The government’s competent authorities have set up a coordinated incident command structure with the industry to contain the outbreak. All birds considered infected have been destroyed and buried on site.
Biosecurity has been stepped up at all levels throughout the area where the outbreak occurred; movement controls are in place, farmers are being educated about the disease, and BAHA is maintaining an early warning and response system. Inspection of poultry farms before slaughter of birds along with heightened inspection and strict sanitation measures at all poultry establishments are also in place.