Accra, July 17, GNA – The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has confirmed the outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza disease, also known as Bird Flu, in the Greater Accra, Central and Volta regions.
It has, consequently, declared a total ban on the importation of poultry and poultry products from neighbouring countries where the prevalence of the disease has been confirmed.
It has also placed a ban on the movement of poultry and poultry products within and from the affected regions and districts to other parts of the country, and strict
inspection and issuance of permits to cover the movement of all poultry and poultry products from unaffected parts of the country.
These were announced in a statement, signed on behalf of the Minister, Dr Patrick Abakeh, Director, Veterinary Services Directorate, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
« The zoonotic nature of the disease calls for public alert and vigilance to mitigate the possible impact on the poultry industry and public-health, in general, it cautioned.
It advised citizens to report any unusual deaths of domestic poultry and wild birds to the nearest Veterinary office and public authorities for public safety.
They should also avoid the handling of dead birds with bare hands and consume only well-cooked poultry meat and poultry products.
« The outbreak of the disease follows the detection of similar cases in neighbouring countries since January, 202, » it said.
« Through effective surveillance and disease control management, the Veterinary Services Directorate has prevented the extension of the disease into Ghana until now. »
It noted that cases of the Bird Flu disease were previously recorded in 2007, 2015, 2016 and 2018, with significant economic impact on affected poultry farmers.
The statement said the Ministry was also intensifying public awareness and sensitisation through the Regional Coordinating Councils and District Assemblies, especially in the affected areas.
It, however, urged the public not to panic because the Veterinary Services Directorate was taking all the necessary steps to contain the outbreak and spread of the disease.
It urged the public to contact Dr Abakeh on phone number 020-8240734 for further information.
The Center for Disease Control explains that the disease is caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses.