Feb 27, 2006 (ADDIS ABABA) — Signs of avian flu have been observed in Endibir woreda district of Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s (SNNP) State, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development disclosed.
According to the pro-Ethiopian government Walta Information Centre (WIC), Information and Public Relations Bureau head with the ministry, Mulugeta Debalkew today said that the bird flu-resembling disease was observed in Gubere Poultry Centre in the stated woreda, and the laboratory test carried out locally has indicated the existence of a bird flu-like disease.
Preparations were under way to send samples to an Italy-based vet laboratory to verify the existence of the disease, Mulugeta said , adding that preventive measures were under way to contain the disease from spreading to other areas.
He noted an embargo is put on chicken and poultry products effective today within the radius of 60 kilometres of Gubere locality and its environs where the sign of the disease is evident.
Veterinary department head with the ministry Dr Sileshi Zewde said on his part that 6,082 chickens were reported dead at the Gubere Poultry Center, and the examination carried out on 49 chickens has confirmed that they died from a bird flu-like disease.
He said the chicken remaining in the poultry centre would be burnt as of tomorrow and precautionary measures would be taken in other poultry farms in the country.
Dr Sileshi however stated that people living in areas outside the localities affected with the avian flu-like disease can cook and eat chicken as well as eggs.
The head also added the ministry has been making the necessary preparations all over the country since the avian flu has been reported in other countries, and he advised the public not to worry but heed to information transmitted by professionals through the mass media.