Bird flu
Bird flu

The Volta Regional Health Directorate has heightened its surveillance due to the outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (H5N1) in Lomé, Togo, on June 22, 2023.

Dr Senanu Kwesi Djokoto, Acting Volta Regional Director of Health, who disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said the outbreak was a major concern to the directorate as the region shared border with the Republic of Togo.

The Director said per the information received from Togo, the “outbreak has killed about 1,450 of a flock of 1,500 birds with the remaining birds being slaughtered.”

He said health facilities in all the districts in the region, especially districts sharing border with Togo and port health units, had been notified and asked to intensify their surveillance for the disease.

Dr Djokoto urged all residents in the region to observe precautionary measures to protect themselves against the disease, adding that the outbreak could be among wild birds and these birds could cross the border to intermingle with those in Ghana

The preventive measures, he said, included avoiding direct contact with wild birds as they could be infected with the disease even if they did not look sick and unprotected contact with domestic birds (poultry) that looked sick or died.

“Avoid touching surfaces that might be contaminated with saliva, mucous or faeces from wild or domestic birds, avoid touching their nose, eyes and mouth after contact with birds or surfaces that might be contaminated with saliva, mucous or faeces from wild or domestic birds,” he added.

Dr Djokoto again urged the public to use protective equipment like gloves, an N95 respirator if available or, a well-fitting face mask and wash their hands with soap under running water after touching birds.

The signs and symptoms, he said, included mild flu-like illnesses such as cough, sore throat, headache, feeling feverish, fatigue, fever, arthralgia, myalgia, rhinorrhea.

Or moderate to severe illness such as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, altered mental status and seizures, and complications such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, multi-organ failure and meningoencephalitis.

Dr Djokoto commended residents in the region for supporting the directorate in dealing with disease outbreaks and urged them to observe the safety protocols to stem the H5N1 from entering the region and the country.


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