The Uganda Government has declared end of bird flu outbreak which has led to death of thousands of birds and crippled the country’s poultry export for seven months since its outbreak.
Bird flu outbreak was declared in January affecting domestic and wild birds in three central districts of Wakiso, Kalangala and Masaka, along the shores of Lake Victoria.
Since outbreak of the flu, at least 50,000 domestic birds and 10,000 wild birds have been killed by the government, aimed at ending the outbreak.
Minister of Agriculture, Christopher Kibanzanga, who announced end to avian influenza outbreak in an interview with newsmen on Saturday, said that Uganda is free from bird flu.
“The laboratory samples collected from domestic poultry birds and wild birds have been confirmed negative since March to date,” Kibanzanga said.
He lamented that the outbreak had negatively impacted on Uganda’s economy, resulting from trade bans on export of poultry products to neighboring Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The minister hinted that the Kenyan government has agreed to partially lift the poultry trade ban through compartments.
Uganda is among the countries in sub-Saharan Africa that face a high risk of a bird flu outbreak as it is crisscrossed by several routes for migratory birds, which are carriers of the virus.
Avian influenza is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A strains of the influenza virus, according to World Health Organization (WHO).
The infection can cause a wide spectrum of symptoms in birds, ranging from mild illness, which may pass unnoticed, to a fatal disease that can cause severe epidemics.
According to the WHO, avian influenza viruses do not normally infect humans but there have been instances of certain highly pathogenic strains causing severe respiratory disease in humans.