Panic as bird flu outbreak kills 15,000 birds in Cameroon

Thursday May 26 2016


Cameroon. (NMG) Authorities in Cameroon have confirmed a bird flu outbreak in the country.

Already, an estimated 15,000 birds have died in the government owned Mvog-Betsi poultry complex of Yaoundé, officials confirmed Wednesday.

This is about about 50 per cent of birds in the facility.

On May 22, 2016, the country's epidemic surveillance network noticed an “abnormal high mortality rate” of fowls at the poultry complex.

Cameroon’s Minister of Livestock Fisheries and Animal Industries, Dr Taiga said the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza virus strain ( H5N1) was confirmed on the dead birds by the National Veterinary Laboratory (LANAVET) annex of Yaoundé.

Following the news, the country’s Prime Minister chaired an emergency meeting and instructed officials to strengthen surveillance and apply other measures to contain the outbreak, Mr Issa Tchiroma Bakary revealed. He is the government spokesman.

Authorities proceeded to slaughter, burn and dispose the remaining birds in conformity with the law.

There is an ongoing monitoring of persons who visited the affected poultry farm to carry out commercial activities during the week of May 16-22.

“The government is calling on poultry farmers to be vigilant (and notify authorities) of any case of suspicious dead of birds,” Dr Taiga said.

Africa's first H5N1 bird flu outbreak was confirmed on February 2006. It later spread to Egypt, Niger and Cameroon same year.