Conference abstract

Avian Influenza (H5N1) outbreak investigation in Bawjiase, Central Region- Ghana, 2015

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:3(37).17 Dec 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.3.37.149

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Keywords: Avian Influenza H1N5, outbreak, suspected human case
Oral presentation

Avian Influenza (H5N1) outbreak investigation in Bawjiase, Central Region- Ghana, 2015

Akua Boadiwaa Amoh-Yeboah1,&, Eric Yirenkyi1, Boakye-Yiadom Adomako1, Elijah Paa Quansah1, Anna Jammeh1, Helena Acquah1

1Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Ghana

&Corresponding author
Akua Boadiwaa Amoh-Yeboah, Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Ghana

Abstract

Introduction: Avian Influenza H5N1 subtype is highly pathogenic, and since its re-emergence in 2003, has spread across several continents, including Africa. Outbreaks pose a threat to public health and have seriously impacted livelihoods and international trade. On the 7th of October 2015, the Ghana Health Service received report of AI outbreak in poultry at Bawjiase in the Ghana, Central Region. We investigated to estimate the magnitude, identify human cases and contacts and to institute control measures.

Methods: a suspected human case was any person presenting with unexplained acute lower respiratory illness with fever (> 38C), cough and shortness of breath exposed to poultry or poultry products. Contacts were people who touched poultry or poultry products, visited or worked in the affected farms. We identified and interviewed poultry farmers from affected farms and households as well as other human contacts using a structured questionnaire. We listed contacts and followed them up for 7 days. Oropharyngeal swab was taken from symptomatic human contacts for Polymerase Chain Reaction. Environmental assessment was carried out. Data was analyzed into frequencies, proportions, median and interquartile range using Microsoft Excel 2010.

Results: a total of 110 free-range local birds from 33 households were affected with 50 deaths (case fatality of 45.4%). Overall, 137 human contacts were identified; median age 22 years (interquartile range 10-38 years) and 70 (51%) were males. Body temperatures monitored ranged from 34.4C and 36.9C. One contact, a 14-year old boy, developed symptoms of sore throat and fever. He had had processed and consumed dead birds. Oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swab specimen from him tested negative for H5N1.

Conclusion: an outbreak of avian influenza (H5N1) occurred among local birds in Bawjiase. No human infections occurred. Birds and their products in all affected and neighboring households were destroyed and the households disinfected. Biosafety and biosecurity measures were recommended. We recommended construction of bird establishments to improve biosafety and biosecurity.