Kenya and Rwanda have banned importation of live birds and chicken products from Uganda following a confirmed outbreak of Bird Flu in the neighbouring country on Sunday evening and Monday, respectively.

The alert follows a Uganda government announcement that the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), which infects both animals and humans, had been detected following tests on carcasses of white winged-black tern birds that died on the shores of Lake Victoria near Entebbe at Lutembe beach on January 2.

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A second incident was confirmed last Sunday at Bukakata area within Masaka district, 75 kilometres from Kampala City, when carcasses of five domestic ducks and a hen tested positive to HPAI prompting re-activation of the National Task Force to co-ordinate the fight against Avian Flu.

Through the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI), the government’s decision of banning poultry product imports was taken to avoid future impacts that the dangerous flu could bring to the country’s soil.So far, the signs of the disease have been noticed in the country’s two respective regions of Entebbe and Masaka.

MINAGRI’s statement released on Monday calls on poultry farmers and related institutions to join efforts and find earlier tough measures to block the disease from breaking into the region.

According to Dr Christine Kanyandekwe, who is in charge of farming at Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB), tests cannot be operated on immigrants coming form Uganda as the disease cannot be contaminated through body-to-body contacts, but touching flu positive chickens.

On the other hand in Kenya, officials say all public health and veterinary officers at Busia and Malaba border posts had been placed on high alert to ensure no imports of poultry products are allowed in until the situation in Entebbe has normalised.

“Permits issued to chicks, eggs, poultry meat and breeding chicken importers will have to be reviewed to safeguard spread of Bird Flu to Kenya,” said Juma Ngeiywa, Kenya’s Chief Veterinary Officer.the bird flu disease has been priviously reported in European countries, namely, Hungary, Germany, Denmark and France, before appearing in Uganda.

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fears are surrounding East African Countries to be attacked by this disease as its metamorphosis depending on the area it is located.

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Fred Irakoze/bwiza.com

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