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Kenya bans Uganda poultry products over bird flu

The Kenyan government has banned imports of poultry products from Uganda following an outbreak of avian influenza there.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett on Wednesday said the government has taken adequate measures to secure the country from the viral infection.

There are 32 million chickens in Kenya that are at risk of contracting the avian flu.

Kenya has been on a high health alert after the deadly viral disease was detected in dead birds in Uganda last weekend.

The Ugandan government on Sunday activated its emergency plan for epidemics control after confirming one strain of the disease — one of three types that affect humans, animals and birds, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Avian flu is an infectious disease from birds and is caused by type A strains of the influenza virus. It can be transmitted to human beings, causing severe respiratory infections.

The flu is characterised by a sudden onset of high fever, aching muscles, headache, severe sickness, non-productive cough and a sore throat within two to five days and up to 17 days of infection.

In the very young, it can lead to pneumonia and death. It affects mainly the nose, throat, bronchi and occasionally the lungs. It is treatable with an antiviral drug called Tamiflu.

Humans contract the disease through close contact with infected poultry or with objects contaminated by their faecal matter, according to WHO.

©Alleastafrica and Nation Media

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