Tanzania denies outbreak of deadly tilapia virus in Lake Victoria
Tanzanian Authorities said on Friday there was no outbreak of the deadly Tilapia Lake Virus in Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake shared by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. “There is no reason for alarm,’’ Rashid Tamatama, Tanzania’s permanent secretary in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, told Xinhua. The official was reacting to reports of an outbreak of the Tilapia Lake Virus, a deadly disease that threatens fish stocks, both farmed and wild. A research on the genetic make-up of the Tilapia Lake Virus conducted in Lake Victoria in 2018 showed no signs of the prevalence of the virus, Tamatama said. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries are compiling findings on the reported virus, he said, adding that the findings will be released in two weeks. Earlier, the FAO in Uganda set up a committee to investigate the reported outbreak of the Tilapia Lake Virus in Lake Victoria. Jacob Olwo, programme officer of fisheries and aquaculture at FAO Uganda, said the committee comprised experts from Uganda, Kenya, Angola, Egypt, Nigeria and Ghana. The team would find out whether there was an outbreak in Lake Victoria and also draw plans on how the disease would be tackled if an outbreak is confirmed, he said.
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