Kenya on high alert following an outbreak of bird flu in Uganda

Poultry farmers in Kenya  have been put on a high alert following an outbreak of bird flu in Uganda, a disease capable of wiping 100 per cent of the flock in just 5 days.

Besides poultry, bird flu, which is also called avian influenza, affects humans if they come into contact with carcasses, excrement, and any body fluid discharges from sick birds.

It is on this basis that we have prepared you a fact sheet, detailing the history, symptoms and how to prevent this disease.


Bird Flu was first recorded in Italy in 1878. The disease, originally known as Fowl Plague, continuously caused massive outbreaks in poultry, including two outbreaks in the United States (1924 and 1929). In 1955, it was discovered that the virus causing Fowl Plague was an influenza virus.

The outbreak of this disease occurs sporadically throughout the world. This disease has been very disruptive to the poultry industry; forcing farmers to kill millions of chickens, geese, and turkeys to prevent further spread of the disease


Birds suffering from the disease have swollen heads, sneeze, cough, and rattle as well as showing respiratory stress.

The necks and throat start losing colour, diarrhea, reduced appetite as well as reduced egg production.

Other symptoms includes muscle aches, malaise, respiratory difficulties and high fever of over 100.4°F


The fact that the virus is carried by birds it makes prevention very difficult. However, its spread can be controlled if farmers restrict the movement of birds to neighborhoods.

In case of any symptom, farmers are advised to report to necessary authorities for quickest control measures.

Farmers must avoid handling the carcasses without protective gears. They are also advised to dispose carcasses safely.

Others includes Washing of hands regularly, particularly before and after handling food.

According to the ministry of Agriculture in Uganda, one hen and five domestic ducks were infected in Masaka while migratory birds were reported to have succumbed to the virus at the shores of the port town of Entebbe.


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