Published Date: 2007-05-02 20:00:02
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza (76): Ghana, conf.
Archive Number: 20070502.1426
AVIAN INFLUENZA (76): GHANA, CONFIRMED
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Wed 2 May 2007
Source: Reuters [edited]
1st H5N1 case in Ghana confirmed in poultry - WHO
Ghana has suffered its 1st outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1
bird flu at a chicken farm east of the capital Accra, the World
Health Organization said on Wednesday [2 May 2007].
A handful of nearby countries in West Africa have already had
outbreaks of the disease among poultry, and the worst hit, Nigeria,
reported sub-Saharan Africa's only confirmed human death from H5N1
early this year .
The Ghana outbreak was detected on a farm 20 km (13 miles) east of
Ghana's capital Accra, near the port of Tema, Dr Harry Opata, WHO
disease prevention and control officer, told Reuters.
"It's confirmed," Opata said. "Initial confirmation was done by the
veterinary lab here in Accra ... and supported by a U.S. naval
services laboratory in Cairo, Egypt. We'll assume the whole farm was
infected ... About 100 chickens a day were dying in the past 3-4
days," he said. Opata said all 1600 birds on the farm -- mostly
chickens and a few ducks -- had already been incinerated to control
the disease. The farm was relatively isolated, and the surrounding
area had been put under veterinary surveillance to prevent any spread, he said.
At least 200 million birds have died or been culled because of the
H5N1 strain as it has spread from Asia around much of the world in
The 1st case in Africa was detected in poultry in early 2006 in
Nigeria, and outbreaks were subsequently confirmed in Ghana's
neighbors Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso as well as nearby Niger and
Cameroon. The global human death toll stands at 172.
Experts are worried that weak human and animal health services in
sub-Saharan Africa may allow the virus to go unnoticed giving it more
chance to mutate into a form that could pass between people and
trigger a human pandemic. But so far, the human death in Nigeria is
the only one recorded from the disease in sub-Saharan Africa.
On the eastern edge of the African continent, one non-fatal human
case had been confirmed in Djibouti, while further north on the
continent, Egypt is the worst-hit country [in Africa], with 14 people
confirmed killed by the virus.
Foreign donors gathered in the West African country of Mali in
December 2006 and pledged nearly USD 500 million in new funds, mainly
to help Africa fight the spread of bird flu and avert the threat of a
[Byline: Kwaku Sakyi-Addo]
World: Areas reporting confirmed occurrence of H5N1 avian influenza
in poultry and wild birds since 1 Jan 2007, status as of 16 Apr 2007
(latest available update) is available at
Ghana is expected now to be colored red on the map, like her
above-mentioned west-African neighbor countries.
An official notification to the OIE by Ghana's veterinary services is
anticipated as well. - Mod.AS]