In Ghana H5N1 bird flu confirmed on two farms

No human infection has been confirmed in Ghana, said researcher Kofi Odoom The institute was conducting tests on people who may have handled the infected birds, he said.

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Health officials from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and European Union (EU) cull chickens play Health officials from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and European Union (EU) cull chickens
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Tests on poultry at two farms in Ghana, including one in the capital, Accra, have confirmed the presence of H5N1 avian flu, the country's state research institute said on Wednesday.

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research said five of six samples tested positive for the disease earlier this month. Avian flu has already struck several other countries in West Africa, including Ghana's neighbours Niger and Burkina Faso.

No human infection has been confirmed in Ghana, said researcher Kofi Odoom The institute was conducting tests on people who may have handled the infected birds, he said.

A health ministry official told Reuters that at least 20,000 chickens on five farms around Accra and the port town of Tema had been destroyed, though it was not immediately clear if the disease had been confirmed in all the locations.

The government said on Wednesday it had activated a national technical committee to lead efforts to stem the outbreak and to trace its source.

More than 35 countries have been hit by bird flu outbreaks since early last year, killing tens of millions of poultry.

A global epizootic -- an epidemic outbreak in animals -- of H5N1 bird flu, which emerged in early 2004, led to several cases in humans. More than half of those proved fatal.

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