Health Alert: Italian lab confirms bird flu in Ghana

poultryThe Ministry of Food and Agriculture has said that the test results of samples of reported Avian Flu cases taken to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Laboratory in Padova, Italy, proved positive.

In May 2015, there were reported cases of an outbreak of the virus on a farm in Achimota and Tema.

The samples taken from these farms and tested by the Accra Veterinary Laboratory and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research proved positive.

The Ministry sent the samples to the OIE Laboratory in Italy for further tests.

At a press briefing in Accra on Wednesday, a Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Hannah Bissiw allayed fears and assured that her Ministry is collaborating with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to put together a surveillance team to respond and curtail the spread of the virus in the country.

She called on Poultry Farmers and other stakeholders in the industry to treat the situation with all seriousness and the urgency it deserves.

Dr. Hannah Bissiw outlined some necessary precautions that must be adhered to:

Isolation of identified farms

Destruction of all poultry, eggs, feed and other materials on these infected farms.

Disinfection of these infected farms

Working with expects like Veterinary Officers to screen al poultry workers on affected farms for symptoms of the disease.

Dr. Hannah Bissiw added that no human cases have been detected so far, but cautioned the general public to be on high alert.

She indicated the Ministry has so far been able to commence a rigorous and active search and surveillance for avian influenza in other areas in the country especially at our borders.

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