Avian influenza – Senegal

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Avian influenza H5N1 has been detected at a poultry farm at Ndiakhat, Pout, Thies (Senegal).

The disease was detected by the farm manager on December 23 of 2020, through a drop in water consumption and the recording of high fatalities in the bird population.

The morbidity and mortality rates in the birds are 58% and the lethality rate is 100%. The main clinical signs observed are oedema, cyanosis, congestion of the crests and barbs and prostration.

The affected animals have been culled. A quarantine has been placed on the farm and a containment and protection zone has been set up to monitor the situation.

The poultry farm is located away from households.

This is the first time that Senegal reports the highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5N1. It is endemic in some countries of the African continent.

Photo: H5N1 virus colorized micrograph, viruses are gold colored in MDCK cells (green).

Avian influenza is deadly to most birds, but it can also be deadly to humans and other animals that catch the virus (poultry farming). Since the first human case in 1997, H5N1 has killed nearly 60% of those who have been infected. Unlike human flu, avian flu does not spread easily from person to person.

Avian influenza subtypes H5N8, H5N5, H5N3, and H5N1 are currently circulating mostly in the European continent (for now). The pathogens have been detected in wild birds and these viruses are being distributed wherever wild birds migrate.

Poultry producers are recommended to implement bio-security measures necessary to protect their flocks and humans from exposure and infection.

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