Alphonse Doutay, Minister of Livestocks and Marine Resources has dismissed the possibility of bird flu outbreak in Ivory Coast . He further stated that the death of chickens in the Bondoukou region were not due to infection with the H5N1 virus.
The exact cause of the death is still unknown. It has however been confirmed through tests conducted by Bingerville laboratory near Abidjan that the chickens were negative for the bird flu virus. The health minister has urged the public to remain calm.
The death of nearly 200 chickens in an eastern village of the country in March and April sparked fears of a bird flu outbreak in the in Cote d`Ivoire. Since February, five African countries Egypt, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria have confirmed the presence of bird flu infection.
Although no cases of bird flu has been reported so far, the country has already instituted certain precautionary measures to restrict the spread of bird flu. A ban on poultry import from bird flu infected countries has been imposed, said the health minister.