Test results found no traces of Avian Influenza virus on samples of dead birds in Gambia

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A National Task Force led by our Dept. Parks & Wildlife Management and the Dept. of Livestock Services (DLS) conducting tests on birds following a suspected outbreak. Photo Credit: Ministry of Environment

The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources (MECCNAR) say there have been no traces of Avian Influenza (bird flu) on samples of dead birds taken for laboratory test.

The update follows reports of an alleged outbreak of Avian Influenza in the country that claimed the lives of more than eighty (80) wild birds spotted at Tanji Birds Reserve, Kartong beach site, among other areas along the coastal areas.

“Tests conducted so far came out negative. Nonetheless, the team (task force committee) is still carrying out more detailed forensic examinations and continuing analysis in the Department of Livestock Services labs while considering sending some samples abroad for more forestry opinion,” MECCNAR said in a press statement.

“A National Taskforce by our Department of Parks and Wildlife Management and Department of Livestock Services (DLS) has begun conducting tests on birds following suspected outbreaks of Avian Influenza (bird flu) in and around Tanji Bird Reserve and Kartong. Mortality is recorded around Kotu Creek, Tanji Bird Reserve, and Kartong; no case is reported around the wetlands and the region.”

MECCNAR continued to call on the general public to avoid touching the affected birds with their bare hands and bury anyone found immediately, adding that the ministry is keenly following the development and will update the general public accordingly

Meanwhile, Mr. Momodou Lamin Gassama, Director of the Parks and Wildlife Department, also confirmed to TAT that his department had started the collection of samples from dead birds that have been processed at the laboratory of the Department of Livestock Services.

He said that only laboratory tests could confirm whether the Avian Influenza virus causes the death of the birds.

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