After Ebola, UN worried about bird flu outbreak in West Africa

2015-07-20 14:11

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Rome - Countries in West Africa, which have been hard hit by the Ebola virus, may soon be battling with a serious bird flu crisis, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned on Monday.

The H5N1 bird flu virus is highly contagious and is transmittable to humans. According to the World Health Organisation, 447 people across the world have died from it since 2003. The most serious situation is currently in Egypt, with 133 human cases and 37 deaths this year.

"Avian flu [in West Africa] could trigger a mass die-off of chicken - a nutritious and inexpensive source of food for many people - with detrimental impacts on diets and on the economy of the region, exacerbating an already difficult situation," FAO said.

"Urgent action is needed to strengthen veterinary investigation and reporting systems in the region and tackle the disease at the root, before there is a spillover to humans," Juan Lubroth, Chief of FAO's Animal Health Service Division, said.

The Rome-based UN agency launched a 20-million-dollar fundraising appeal for prevention and response activities.

FAO said the H5N1 virus was first detected in West Africa in 2006 and eradicated two years later.

It reappeared in Nigeria in late 2014, has spread to Burkina Faso, Niger, Ivory Coast and Ghana, leading to the death by culling or from infection of more than 1.6 million birds, and may infect also Benin, Cameroon, Mali and Togo.

"We're looking at a disease - H5N1 - that has already spread to five countries in six months. We have to make a concerted effort to stop it in its tracks and we have to do it now," Lubroth, the FAO executive, said.

Read more on:    un  |  ebola  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.