Bird flu outbreak: 701,955 Mortality recorded

The Head of Epidemiology of the Veterinary Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Dr Fenteng Danso, has disclosed that a total of 701,955-bird mortality has been recorded in the country.
Of the said number, 555,227 birds had to be destroyed as part of containment measures by the ministry, while the remaining 143,406 deaths were as a result of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) infections.

Sharing the statistics with the Daily Graphic last Friday, Dr Danso said the birds were from 163 farms in the 10 affected regions.


On July 8, 2021, the Accra Veterinary Laboratory confirmed an outbreak of Avian Influenza type A subtype H5 virus in the Greater Accra, Central and Volta regions.

The HPAI was also confirmed in the Ashanti, Western North, Western, Upper West, Upper East, Eastern and Bono regions.

For confirmatory, samples (brain, lungs, spleen and trachea) were sent to the National Centre for Foreign Animal Diseases Laboratory of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for molecular pathotyping.

The preliminary result from the Canadians traced the top identity match of the virus to be 99.3 per cent resemblance to that of the Nigerian strain.

Dr Danso said a visit to the farms revealed that there were generally poor bio-security on the farms as most of them did not have functional foot baths coupled with poor hygiene.


He said as part of control and preventive measures, infected birds had been humanely stamped out and disinfected, while movement in and out of the farms had been banned.

“Farmers are always encouraged to prevent the movement of vehicles between farms to prevent further spread of the disease,” he said, adding that the farmers were alerted to the zoonotic nature of the disease.

He said the farm hands were also admonished to use personal protection when handling poultry birds.

Dr Danso said additionally, the farmers were educated on the need to implement appropriate bio-security and proper disposal of dead birds to contain the spread of Avian Influenza type A subtype H5.

Dr Danso said as part of measures to contain the spread, poultry farmers and live bird sellers had been advised on the need for a timely report of unusual death of birds to the service and the need to control traffic between farms in the affected areas and between live bird markets and households.

Source: graphiconline

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