Dr Emmanuel Kwao Pecku, the Metropolitan Veterinary Officer for Tema has urged poultry farmers to adhere to bird flu prevention protocols to ensure the total eradication of the virus as the disease is highly transmissible.
He said the Avian Influenza (A-H5N1) has been confirmed in some parts of the country adding that the virus had affected layer birds including; chicken, turkey, and related birds.
Dr Pecku told the Ghana News Agency in an interview after outlining measures to contain the spread of Avian Influenza in Tema metropolis that signs of the virus included; low production, soft shells of eggs, the birds look sick, some will die, and urged poultry farmers to report after observing cases on their farms to the Veterinary officers.
He cautioned farmers not to handle dead birds with their bare hands because the virus had the tendency of infecting humans as well.
The Veterinary Officer explained that whilst the Veterinary Services was putting in all the necessary measures to curb the bird flu outbreak, a lot also depended on bird farmers and urged farmers not be visiting other poultry farms as they could transfer their diseases from one farm to the other adding that, they should also not sell their eggs close to their farms also.
He reminded that adhering to flu prevention protocols would lead to curtailing the spread of the virus saying that 300 cases of the bird flu had been recorded from one farm adding that the spread was being contained.
Dr. Pecku encouraged the farmers to report any signs of the virus to identified Veterinary Officers.
On the recent outbreak of the bird flu in the Tema metropolis, he said the virus was detected in a farm on January 3, in the Metropolis, and immediately on the following day the Vet team, went there and about 300 birds were affected and 50 died.
He said a laboratory investigation revealed that the birds were infected with Avian Influenza (A-H5N1) adding that, the remaining birds would be depopulated and intensive monitoring ongoing.
Dr. Preku said additional control measures were being undertaken including the ban on movement in and out of the farm.
He said the Avian Influenza affected birds including chicken, turkey, guinea fowl, and other avian species, and called on other farmers to get disinfectants at the entrance of their farms to prevent further spread of the virus.
He advised owners of farms to use the services of veterinarians to assist them in destroying and burying birds properly to prevent the spread of the flu.