The strain of avian influenza detected in wild and domestic birds in Uganda recently is the same virus that has spread through Asia and Europe over the past four months. Revealed as the H5N8 avian influenza strain, it is thought to have spread across continents via wild migratory birds. In Africa, aside from Uganda, the H5N8 outbreak has also been recorded in Nigeria and Tunisia this year. The risk of humans being infected by H5N8 is low, but should this happen, the virus can cause severe illness and death. Since the outbreak in Uganda was reported, a number of East African countries have increased their monitoring while the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Tanzania have imposed a ban on poultry from Uganda. But African countries face challenges in detecting such outbreaks because they have weak avian influenza surveillance systems.

Bird flu in Uganda highlights gaps in Africa's plans to manage pandemics
Source: Virology News

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