SANTIAGO, Chile – Chile said Friday that tests show swine flu has jumped to birds, opening a new chapter in the global epidemic.
Top flu and animal-health experts with the United Nations in Rome and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were monitoring the situation, but said the infected turkeys have suffered only mild effects, easing concern about a potentially dangerous development.
Chile’s turkey meat remains safe to eat, the experts said, and so far there have been no signs of a deadly mutation. None of the birds has died from this flu.
Chile’s Health Ministry said it ordered a quarantine Friday at two turkey farms outside the port city of Valparaiso after genetic tests confirmed sick birds were afflicted with the same virus that has caused a pandemic among humans. The infected birds are contained within closed buildings, preventing any spread to wild birds, the farms’ owner said.