An H5N1 Bird Flu Epidemic in Burkina Faso Results in the Death of at Least 500,000 Hens

Scientists have sent out a warning regarding an impending increase of outbreaks among farmed birds. A bird flu epidemic in Burkina Faso, which claimed at least 500,000 hens, triggered the call to farmers to be on the lookout. Through the Animal Resources Minister Moussa Kabore, the West African country reported having noted a high mortality rate among poultry. And the presence of H5N1 bird flu had caused hundreds of deaths and the destruction of 1.3 million boxes of eggs.

Burkina Faso has about 42 farms scattered over seven districts in the country’s central and western regions. The birds in them include ducks and geese. Poultry is particularly popular, and almost every household is raising chickens for their consumption or as a source of income. The country also produces gold and cotton, but livestock rearing is its third-largest source of foreign cash.

Government Launches Initiatives to Combat the Sickness

The H5N1 strain first swept the globe in 2006. And though its risk to humans is low, it is quickly becoming a threat. The virus has also been coursing through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. And according to The World Organization for Animal Health, the danger is in its large number of variants. Again, this may not be tangible evidence, but migrating birds have been blamed for these outbreaks.

Nonetheless, the government has established mechanisms and measures to combat the sickness. It has established a 3km protection zone and a 10km surveillance zone around the infected premises. This will enable the catching and testing of sick or dead birds for the virus. State veterinary surgeon Michael J Neault has also emphasized the urgent need for everyone with poultry farms to assess their policies to keep birds safe from disease.

According to and 2022, there was an additional discovery of scattered Eurasian H5 illnesses from Portugal to Bulgaria and another two cases in Eastern Canada. Meanwhile, farmers have come out to express their astonishment at how efficiently the virus kills, with animals dying hours after the initial infection. But everyone is now on high alert and trying to be as prepared as possible because no one knows when the next wave will hit.

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