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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 08:16, September 13, 2006
Ugandan gov't issues bird flu alert
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The Ugandan government has issued a bird flu alert after an outbreak was confirmed in the neighboring southern Sudan.

Sam Okware, the chairperson of National Task Force on Bird Flu, told Xinhua by telephone on Tuesday that the outbreak was confirmed on September 6, and is affecting local chicken in Juba of southern Sudan.

Okware said he has directed the district health officers and district veterinary officers in northern Uganda bordering southern Sudan to be on high alert.

Okware asked the public, especially people who have been traveling to Juba or southern Sudan to be on high alert.

Groups of Ugandans have been traveling to Juba to witness the ongoing peace talks between the Ugandan government and rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army.

A ministry of health press release on Monday called on health officials in the northern Uganda to strengthen their task forces on bird flu to enhance surveillance and public education.

"In addition, the people at the country's borders should be on high alert for any suspicious birds or poultry products being brought into the country," the release said.

Early this year, the government equipped its laboratory with a bird flu-testing machine after the east African country was thrown into panic when birds and poultry died of suspected avian flu in several districts.

Bird flu is a highly infectious disease in birds, which may through constant contact passes onto humans.

The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu virus has killed a number of people in several countries across Asia, Europe and Africa as the wild birds spread the virus along their migration journey.

Source: Xinhua


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