State Minister for Agriculture Vincent Ssempijja has said birdflu outbreak is under control and government together with other stakeholders are working to ensure that trade in poultry and poultry products resumes.
“Everything is almost back to normal now,” Minister Ssempijja told TheUgandan on Thursday, adding, “Our laboratories have carried out enough tests on the samples collected from allover Uganda and as the government we can reaffirm that the outbreak is under control.”
The first suspected cases of bird flu were discovered early this year after fishermen reported mass die-off of wild birds on the shores of Lake Victoria.
The birds were found in a wetland near Entebbe which attracts bird watchers from all over the world. The town lies some 40 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Kampala.
The virus was also discovered in domestic ducks in the town of Masaka in western Uganda.
Samples from the two sites tested positive for HPAI. According to the World Health Organization, some strains of the virus can also spread to humans and cause severe respiratory infections. The flu can be particularly dangerous for young children.
Minister Ssempijja’s agriculture ministry then warned that the HPAI virus can affect both humans and animals and could “cause a high number of deaths in both species.”
“The symptoms can be sometimes mild but can also be lethal when the disease affects the organs, such as the lungs and the kidneys,” the health ministry’s Anthony Mbonye said. But he added that the risk of transmissions from birds to humans was low.
Shortly after the birdflu outbreak was confirmed in some parts of the country, Kenya and Rwanda banned all poultry related products from Uganda, a decision that caused a staggering loss within the poultry industry in the country.