News update:May 12, 2010

First case of human bird flu in Nigeria

A 22-year-old woman who died in Lagos on January 17 is the first confirmed human case of bird flu in Nigeria.

The Nigerian government says laboratory tests for the deadly bird flu virus on samples taken from human victims are positive. Another victim is said to be receiving treatment at a Lagos hospital. The authorities are moving quickly to assure the public of their safety and have started a huge health campaign to contain the virus.
Dr. Abdulsalam Nasidi, the official in charge of the stemming the spread of bird flu said, "We are going to embark on a massive public health campaign," Dr. Nasidi said. "We are working with ministry of agric [agriculture] experts to handle the livestock aspect, particularly poultry from the market, and restrict movement of poultry, particularly interstate. We are going to increase bio security, bio safety in poultry and in the health sector, we are going to work quickly with the contacts and also increase our surveillance."
Dr. Nasidi added, "The whole world is worried, not only Nigerians." Bird flu has killed about 150 people worldwide since late 2003, with most of the deaths in Asia. Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, was the first on the continent to report bird flu in poultry last year. Dr. Nasidi says health authorities are taking steps to assure Nigerians that they are fully disclosing all information on the virus.
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