An outbreak of bird flu has been reported in Ghana, leading to the killing of 11,816 birds. The affected farms have also been quarantined to prevent the virus from spreading to other areas.
Out of the number, 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.
However, only 450 birds from a farm in Tema in the Greater Accra Region have been killed by the flu.
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 in Accra 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 Pandova, Italy for further tests.
He explained that it was a standard procedure because that was the only place with the certified laboratory to test the virus and “secondly, they will help provide the palindromic sequence of the bird flu gene for us.”
Dr Kikimoto 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.