This highly pathogenic avian influenza, according to officials, is a public health concern and was discovered in a layer poultry farm in Thies, Senegal.
However, we are glad that the Ministry of Agriculture alongside its relevant ministries are closely following development in Thies, Senegal, where the deadly virus is detected and are on top of things as well.
What is interesting is the fact that with the coronavirus still devastating businesses and local businesses, fear of a new virus, which causes bird flu, is beginning to surface in the region.
According to expert information, in its present form, human-to-human infection is not known, as human infections have been reported only among people who have handled infected birds or carcasses.
Already, a total of around 100,000 chickens of which 58,000 chickens got sick and died from the disease in particular farm in Thies, Senegal. Reports added that the remaining 42,000 chickens were killed as a measure to control the outbreak.
What is important at this moment is how to contain this avian flu before its sustained transmission among humans.
It is important to restrict movement of people and materials from poultry farms to contain it further spread.
In Gambia as in most countries in the region, it is mostly at the backyard where rearing of poultry birds is very common. There is a need to strengthen proper security of poultry farms, disinfection and proper disposal of dead birds.
Because without due care and attention, it would definitely make our collective effort and task of elimination difficult.
The establishment of the national taskforce, which composed of EDC, NDMA, and DPWM and led by DLS is very timely.
We must take this as a race against time and we need to act fast to put in place a National Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for the containment of this virus if it crossed the borders.
The implementation of the necessary recommendations would significantly address the risk posed by the presence of the virus in Senegal, as well as to further secure its absence in The Gambia.
“There is a need to strengthen proper security of poultry farms, disinfection and proper disposal of dead birds.”