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07 July 2017

Transport of pigs to be banned after swine flu outbreak

The Veterinary Services Department intends to ban the transfer of pigs following reports of an outbreak of Swine flu in parts of the country.

According to the department, data available to them indicates that some pig farms in the Ashanti Region have been affected.

There has also been a reported case of swine flu in the Greater Accra Region, which is yet to be confirmed by the Department.

“Currently with the data we’ve got, there are some 3 districts in the Ashanti Region [that have been] affected most. There a seemingly suspected case in the Greater Accra Region,” the Head of Public Health at the Veterinary services Dr Bashiru Boi Kikimoto told Citi News.

He, however, stated that measures were being taken to prevent the disease from spreading, including banning the movement of pigs and the meat products.

“Normally at the outbreak focal point, there’ll be some public health intervention measures to make sure it doesn’t spread from one farm to another or one district to another. The first thing is to ban the movement of pigs from one district to another and also make sure that we enhance security measures which is one of the main things most farmers don’t take into consideration,” he said

Dr Kikimoto added that all the pigs on farms which have been affected by swine flu would have to be killed and their meat destroyed to forestall a possible spread of the disease.

“For this disease, when there’s an outbreak whether the pig is affected or not, all the pigs on the farm have to be slaughtered and disposed of. Because we don’t want the meat to be taken to other places that will spread the disease.”

In 2016, 230 people were killed in the first four months in Brazil after an outbreak of Swine Flu in the country.

And according to a World Health Organisation report at least 20% of people, were infected with swine flu during the first year of the pandemic in 2009,

However, it’s as yet unclear whether there have been fatalities from the flu in Ghana.

By: Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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