Vaccines are not to prevent bird flu – Veterinarian

Business News of Sunday, 3 January 2016

Source: GNA

Chicken@Local PoultryFarmFile photo

A specialist at the Veterinary Service Directorate in Accra, Dr Anthony Akunzule, has stated that vaccines are not used on birds to prevent bird flu from occurring in Ghana.

Dr Akunzule who was addressing poultry farmers in the Ga South District in Weija over the weekend to create awareness about the disease, said vaccination cannot be used to stop bird flu from infecting birds because it is very tedious.

He therefore, urged farmers to organise themselves into an association to enable the Veterinary Services to easily reach out to them.

Dr Akunzule appealed to them to learn and observe best management practices to control bird flu and other diseases.

The Head of Public Health at the Veterinary services Dr Bashiru Boi Kikimoto, said vaccination of birds in Ghana is not in the minds of officials at the Directorate, adding that in the countries where vaccination was done, the bird flu developed into something like the Newcastle disease.

Dr Paul Polkuu, National Epidemiologist, said the disease entered the country through Tema and since then Veterinary officials have implemented the internationally accepted measures called stamping out to control the virus out and to completely kill it indicating that presently 75,000 birds have been destroyed.

He said when a farm is confirmed to be infected with bird flu, it is quarantined and owners of the birds are not allowed to move the birds to another place otherwise the virus would spread to other areas.

Dr Paul noted that although human beings could be infected with the disease there has not been any reported case.

So far 36 out breaks have been recorded and Greater Accra is leading with 31 outbreaks, followed by Volta Region two, Ashanti, Western and Central regions recorded one outbreak each with 17 districts affected.

The disease is currently under control.