Burkina Faso Hit by H5N1 Bird Flu Outbreak

Burkina Faso on Friday announced an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu, which it said in a statement had been detected across 42 hotspots.

This has resulted in at least a half a million chickens being killed by the flu or culled to contain the spread of the virus.

In an address to newsmen on Saturday, Animal Resources Minister Moussa Kabore said tests had confirmed the presence of the flu, adding that 1.3 million boxes of eggs had been destroyed.

“At the end of December 2021, we noted a high mortality rate among poultry at our country’s production sites,” Kabore said.

Several measures have been put in place to tackle the disease including monitoring spots where wild birds converge for potential cases while capturing and testing sick or dead birds for the virus.

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The news is highly concerning for the West African nation as livestock production is one of its largest industries and its third-highest foreign exchange earner, after gold and cotton production.

Many small households also rely on poultry farming as income-generating activity and a source of food.

Burkina Faso has been plagued by a series of bird flu outbreaks since the H5N1 strain hit the world in 2006. Most bird flu cases outbreaks in the West African nation are blamed on migratory birds.

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