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Avian Influenza: Over 5,800 poultry dead and 58,000 infections recorded so far

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A total of 5,868 deaths and 58,253 infections of Avian Influenza have been recorded among commercial poultry – chicken, ducks, guinea fowls and turkeys – between July 9 and 14, 2021, with the source of infection unknown.

A report by the Veterinary Services said the disease had been identified at eight farms in the country so far.

The farms are at Nungua, Klagon, Lashibi, Community 25, and Darkuman, all in the Greater Accra Region.

The rest are: Domenase in the Central Region and Denu in Volta Region.

The report indicated that the infected birds had been humanely stamped out and disinfected, with movement in and out of the farms also controlled.

“Farmers are always encouraged to prevent the movement of vehicles between farms to prevent further spread of the disease. Farmers are alerted of the zoonotic nature of the disease and, therefore, the farm hands are admonished to use personal protection when handling poultry birds,” it stated.

The farmers had also been 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 Fenteng Danso, the National Head of Epidemiology, Veterinary Services, told the Ghana News Agency that samples of the current infections had been taken to Canada for “sequencing and collaborative report.”

Avian influenza (AI) is a disease of viral etiology that ranges from a mild or asymptomatic infection to an acute, fatal disease of chicken, turkey, guinea fowl, and other avian species, especially migratory waterfowl.

In Ghana, the first HPAI H5N1 outbreak was reported in April 2007 in a small – scale poultry farm at Kakasunanka, near Michel Camp in the Tema Metropolis.

This was followed by further outbreaks at New Dormaa of Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region and Aflao in the Volta Region.

The disease reoccurred in 2015 and crossed-over to  2016 in six regions; Greater Accra, Central, Eastern, Western, Volta, and Ashanti, affecting 148,448 birds.

In June 2018, H5N1 outbreaks were reported at Boankra and Atia in the Ashanti Region as well as Nkawkaw in the Eastern Region, affecting 12,175 birds.

Source: GNA

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