A municipal worker stands amid dead pelicans as a crew works to clear them from Santa Maria beach in Lima, Peru.

Peru: almost 14,000 pelicans die from bird flu

Peruvian National Agricultural Health Service workers pick up dead birds on a beach in Lima, as the highly contagious H5N1 avian flu virus has killed around 14,000 pelicans, blue-footed boobies and other seabirds in Peru.

Peruvian National Agricultural Health Service workers pick up dead birds on a beach in Lima, as the highly contagious H5N1 avian flu virus has killed around 14,000 pelicans, blue-footed boobies and other seabirds in Peru.

The current bird flu outbreak began in Canada and spread to the United States, which has seen a record 50 million birds deaths, says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

13,869 wild seabirds killed

Peru first issued a health alert last Thursday after confirming three cases of H5B1 in pelicans, and since then thousands have been found dead in coastal areas. "The latest official report carried out at a national level shows more than 13,869 wild seabirds killed by the dangerous H5N1 avian flu virus," said the National Forestry and Wildlife Service (SERFOR).

Pelicans, Sea boobies and Blue-footed boobies, among other species, have died.

No treatment for bird flu

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) earlier this year warned countries in South and Central America to be on "high alert" for the virus spreading via migratory birds. There is no treatment for bird flu, which spreads naturally between wild birds and can also infect domestic poultry. Avian influenza viruses do not typically infect humans, although there have been rare cases.