influenza: An overview of the current situation, and public health and economic implications in Ethiopia
Seyoum1, Nigatu Kebede1, Abebe Animut1, Tesfu Kassa1
1Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology, Addis Ababa University, P. O. Box: 1176, Addis Ababa,
Avian influenza is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A strain of influenza virus of the family orthomixoviridae.
Recently, out breaks of the highly pathogenic forms of avian influenza caused by H5N1 strain has been reported
in different parts of the world, more frequently in Asian countries. Theses outbreaks have resulted in significant economic
losses in poultry industry and a significant number of deaths in humans. Furthermore, the epidemic is expanding its territory
to new areas including Africa.
The spread of the infection has been observed to be fast and migratory waterfowl are playing great role in the transmission
of the infection to domestic birds. The objective of this manuscript is to review, discuss and present
the current situation of avian influenza. In addition, the economic and public health implications of
the disease to Ethiopia have been discussed. Furthermore, the political and social consequences of the disease to the country were tried to be contemplated. Finally, recommendations were forwarded by
taking into account the current situation of the epidemic in the world and its potential risk to
Key words: highly pathogenic avian influenza, poultry, waterfowl, human infection,
Ethiopia, national economy