Bird Flu outbreak affects 3 Regions, kills over 11,000 birds

By Maame Aba Afful
Bird Flu outbreak affects 3 Regions, kills over 11,000 birds
Bird Flu outbreak affects 3 Regions, kills over 11,000 birds

An outbreak of avian influenza, also known as Bird flu has affected three regions in Ghana, leading to the killing of 11,816 birds.

5,431 birds have so far been killed by the flu at Boankra, near Ejisu in the Ashanti Region, while 5,935 have been killed in Nkawkaw in the Eastern Region.

In the Greater Accra Region, 450 birds have been killed as a result of the flu at a farm in Tema.

The Head of Public Health and Food Safety, Veterinary Services of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr Boi Kikimoto, confirming the outbreak to the Daily Graphic on Monday, said the ministry was aware of the outbreak and had already sent samples of the virus to the world reference laboratory of the World Animal Health Organisation in Padua, Italy for further tests.

Dr. Kikimoto, however, gave an assurance that the Veterinary Services Department of MoFA had taken full measures to contain the situation, adding: “There is no cause for alarm.

He further assured the public that the chicken on the market or in the supermarkets was safe for consumption.

Dr. Kikimoto advised all district veterinary officers to put in more control measures and ensure that there was no movement of birds around.

“There are different types of the bird flu: H5N1, H2N3 and others,” he explained, adding that the type of flu that affected Boankra and Nkawkaw was the H5N1, described as highly pathogenic, which was very devastating.

Dr. Kikimoto, however, said the one in Tema was the low pathogenic, which killed slowly; and so the ministry was still running tests in the country before results would be forwarded to Padua.

He explained that the ministry was yet to report the outbreak at the farm in Tema to the World Animal Health Organisation because it was still running the test at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research at Legon in Accra.

Background

In 2016, more than 25,000 birds were destroyed between January and July, as a result of the Avian Influenza (bird flu) on poultry farms.

In all, 13 farms in the country were affected, out of which seven were recorded in the Greater Accra Region.

In 2015, a total of 76,326 birds were destroyed as a result of the outbreak of the epidemic nationwide.

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