2 poultry farms hit by bird flu

Some birds attacked by the bird flu

Some birds attacked by the bird flu

An outbreak of bird flu has been confirmed by health authorities in the Tema metropolis.

At least two farms have been affected in the latest outbreak, amidst fears of a possible spread.

Consequently, a team of veterinary officers visited poultry farms at Kpone Katamanso District yesterday to contain an outbreak of the influenza.

The Head of the Epidemiology Unit of the Veterinary Services, Dr. Paul Poulkuu, who disclosed this to The Ghanaian Times, said samples from a farm sent to the Accra Veterinary Laboratory on December 8, proved positive.

“The team is expected to examine over 24,000 birds, after which they would destroy those affected, dispose of their carcasses and disinfect the farms involved,” he stressed.

He advised the general public to ensure that poultry and poultry products were cooked well before being consumed.

Dr. Poulkuu urged farmers and the general public to abide by measures put in place to mitigate the spread of the disease, cautioning that bird flu could be transferred to humans.

The Head of Public Health at the Veterinary Services, Dr Bashiru Boi Kikimoto, who is leading the team, said a contingency plan had been put in place to contain the disease.

“We are fighting the outbreak,” he said, pointing out that the authorities in the district where the outbreak was recorded were trying to contain the situation.

“We have already reported the presence of bird flu in Ghana to the World Health Organisation (WHO),” he stated.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Hanna Bissew, asked the farmers not to sell the affected birds, as part of measures to contain the epidemic.

The farmers have also pledged to collaborate with the veterinary services to help identify infected birds.

Last May, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Research confirmed the outbreak of Avian Influenza virus (bird flu) in some birds in Ghana.

Out of six samples tested by the institute, five proved positive for the bird flu virus, a Research Fellow at the institute, Dr Kofi Odoom, confirmed.

Achimota and Tema were said to be the worst hit, with birds from those two areas quarantined.

From Godfred Blay Gibbah, Tema.

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