H1N1 jumps to turkeys in Chile

Jenny Decker RN's picture
H1N1 and Turkey

A turkey farm in Chile recently noticed a decrease in egg production with the turkeys. This was reported and it was found that A/H1N1 was in the turkeys. However, the good news is that the H1N1 is mild. Currently, two turkey farms have been quarantined despite the mildness of the outbreak. The H1N1 jumped to turkeys in Chile beginning a new chapter in the global epidemic.

Monitoring the situation are top flu and animal-health experts from the United Nations in Rome and the CDC in Atlanta. Because the turkeys have only suffered mild effects, they stated that the concern of a deadly development is low. The H1N1 that has jumped to turkeys in Chile is the human form of the virus.

The H1N1 virus is actually a mixture of human, pig, and bird genes. It is extremely contagious, but so far has not been as dangerous as it was thought to be. However, experts have been closely monitoring birds such as chickens, ducks, turkeys, and quail in lab experiments and so far there have been no animals that became critically ill.


Experts are saying that the turkeys are still safe to eat. The H1N1 jump to turkeys is not a big surprise. With the mildness of the outbreak, there are no great concerns among the experts. Once the turkeys have gone through their illness and recover, sound and healthy, entering the food chain is safe.

Chile is sending some samples outside the country in order to have more genetic testing done to determine if they do indeed match the pandemic strain. Officials remain optimistic that the H1N1 jump to turkeys is mild and not a dangerous mutation. However, there are some experts who are wary of the possibility that a mutation could still occur.

With the quarantine, the turkeys have been isolated from humans and wild birds. If the H1N1 combines with the avian flu again, a much more dangerous strain could be the result. However, even though a new strain could be more deadly, it can also be tougher to pass along.