Monday, 16 January 2017

UGANDA: Bird Flu To Affect AviTourism

Tests carried out on dead birds found on the shores of Lake Victoria between the capital Kampala and Entebbe, the location of the international airport, but also in Masaka District, have proved positive of avian flu, government officials confirmed late yesterday and earlier today.

A formal press conference at the Uganda Media Centre where Minister of State of Agriculture, Hon. Kibazanga, has confirmed the presence of the disease in East Africa.

Neighbouring countries also bordering Lake Victoria are said to have instituted prompt measures to raise surveillance and monitoring on local and migratory bird populations to determine if the disease has also spread to their own shores.

Lutembe Bay, a major migratory bird route waypoint into and out of Africa, is one of the locations where dead birds were found.

Global organizations are also said to be preparing emergency support measures for Uganda to contain the outbreak and fight the further spread of the disease.

According to information received from sources close to government is the type of avian flu is unknown to spread to humans but nevertheless have officials called to be careful not to handle domestic chicken and other poultry and in particular not to touch any birds found dead to avoid any possibility of the virus crossing over to humans.

Alerts have been raised before in Uganda mainly because the country is part of the migratory bird corridor into Africa and past training will come in handy now to tackle the outbreak here in Uganda.

Tourists heading to Uganda have been reassured that they are most unlikely to come into contact with infected birds and need not fear or resort to cancelling their safari vacations in Uganda or anywhere else in East Africa for that matter.