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Tilapia lake virus detected in Mexico; BAHA on alert

Posted: Thursday, August 2, 2018. 11:37 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The Tilapia Lake Virus was recently detected in fish farms in six states of Mexico: Chiapas, Jalisco, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tabasco and Veracruz.

The disease was first detected since 2014 in Israel and subsequently in Ecuador, Colombia, Egypt, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Peru.

Up to today’s date, the disease has not been detected in Belize.

This new fish virus is known to kill up to 90% of farmed and wild Tilapia fish and is transmitted by live tilapia, contaminated water or objects from infected fish farms.

The disease mainly affects young tilapia fish.

The main organs affected are the eyes, brain and liver in Tilapia. Lesions include blurred eyes and in advanced cases, ruptured eyes. Other lesions may include large blood spots on the skin among others.

At this time, the disease does not pose a risk to public health and fish are safe to eat.

Belizean fish farmers are advised to heighten bio-security measures at their farms. In addition, they are advised not to move or purchase Tilapia fish and fingerlings from hatcheries that have reported fish death in their establishment.

The Belize Agriculture and Health Authority (BAHA) will remain vigilant at its points of entry and reminds the public that a valid BAHA import permit is required for the importation of animal and animal products including fish and to notify BAHA of any mortality in fish.

The BAHA Veterinary Services can be contacted at: 824-4899/4872.




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