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Avian influenza: An overview of the current situation, and public health and economic implications in Ethiopia


Tibebe-selassie Seyoum1, Nigatu Kebede1, Abebe Animut1, Tesfu Kassa1


1Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology, Addis Ababa University, P. O. Box: 1176, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



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 Ethiopia.


Key words: highly pathogenic avian influenza, poultry, waterfowl, human infection, Ethiopia, national economy

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