Health

Bird flu in East Africa, Burundi on alert…

Bird flu is caused by H5N1 virus and spreads very fast among birds and can be transmitted to human beings.

Bird flu is caused by H5N1 virus and spreads very fast among birds and can be transmitted to human beings.

Since January 02, signs of bird flu were detected in Uganda where fishermen reported “mass death of wild birds” on the shores of Lake Victoria, near Entebbe, which lies near the capital Kampala. Burundi is on alert.

The director in charge of animal health in the Burundian ministry of agriculture and livestock, Mr. Nsanganiyumwami Déogratias says they are aware of the presence of the disease in East African Community since Monday 16th January 2017. “We held a meeting with the minister and competent experts to impose measures to protect people against any contamination”, he says.

“Uganda is not very far from Burundi and there are comings and goings of people and merchandises between the two countries. Our experts are working hard to adopt preventive measures against bird flu, which will be communicated soon”.

According to Nsanganiyumwami, it is not easy to recognize the disease when it has attacked birds. He, however, advises people especially farmers, to inform immediately veterinarians in case there is a dead chicken.

Bird flu also called avian flu/influenza is an infectious disease that spreads very fast among birds and can kill them. It can be transmitted to human beings, causing severe respiratory diseases that may result in death.

Its symptoms in humans can vary and range from “typical” flu symptoms (fever, sore throat, muscle pain) to eye infections and pneumonia. The disease caused by the H5N1 virus is a particularly severe form of pneumonia that leads to viral pneumonia and multiorgan failure in many people who become infected.

Bird flu was first diagnosed in China in 1990s and this is its first time to be detected in East Africa.

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