MEXICO CITY – A national emergency plan has been launched by Mexican authorities to contain a bird flu outbreak, which the agriculture ministry claims has already affected nearly 1.7 million birds, according to Last week the plan was activated after authorities confirmed the H7N3 virus was in the towns of Tepatitlan and Acatic in the western state of Jalisco.

Currently, the outbreak is concentrated in these two towns, however, the plan is being activated throughout Mexico to prevent the spread of the disease, the agriculture ministry said. Their plan includes tight controls being placed on the transportation of poultry, poultry products and other animals. Birds already infected or at risk of infection will be culled.

Based on media reports, more than 50 percent of the 1.7 million infected fowl have already died or have been culled.