World / Science & Health

Uganda detects bird flu in wild, domestic birds deemed dangerous to humans


Uganda’s ministry for agriculture said on Sunday it had detected bird flu in two locations, one affecting wild birds and another hitting domestic birds, but it did not say whether it was a strain that has spread across Europe and the Middle East.

The H5N8 strain, which is deadly for poultry but has not been found in humans, has spread in Europe and the Middle East since late last year, leading to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of farmed birds and the confinement of flocks indoors.

China has reported human infections of the H7N9 strain of the virus, resulting in fatalities.

Uganda’s Agriculture, Industry and Fisheries Ministry said in a statement that in-country tests had identified “the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), that affects both humans and animals and which causes (a) high number of deaths in both species.”

But the statement did not indentify the strain.

Fishermen on Jan. 2 had reported the “mass death of wild birds” on the shores of Lake Victoria, near Entebbe, which lies near the capital. Tests proved positive.

On Jan. 13 five domestic ducks and a hen in Masaka, to the west of Kampala, were also found to be infected.

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