Bird flu trainingjust in case

bird_fluBULAWAYO The Department of Veterinary Technical Services has received funding from the Africa Union International Bureau of Animal Research to train experts in how to deal with an outbreak of bird flu.

VTS Deputy Director Dr Pious Makaya said the country was simply taking the necessary precautionary measures in case of an outbreak of the disease, also called avian influenza.

Makaya said the funds would be used to implement an integrated national action plan for preventing and controlling bird flu.

He said at least three teams comprising medical personnel, veterinarians and lab technicians had so far been trained in Masvingo.

Despite there not being avian influenza (H5N1) in Zimbabwe, there is need to take extra precautionary measures to protect the country from experiencing an outbreak, he said.

The national task force on bird flu, under the VTS, developed the action plan in 2006 from research findings.

Makaya said poultry farmers should be on guard to prevent the outbreak of the disease through improving bio-security standards on their farms.

Farmers should beef up bio-security standards such as avoiding the mixing of birds, creating barriers between neighbouring poultry farms as well as disinfecting people as they enter premises, he said.

This will complement efforts being carried out by the Avian Influenza National Task Force launched in 2005, he said.

Bird flu mostly affects humans through contact with infected fowl. Symptoms include severe respiratory problems, fever and headaches.

Post published in: Analysis

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