Nigeria rallies to contain avian influenza outbreaks
Several outbreaks of avian influenza have been confirmed in Nigeria, the first instances of the disease since 2006.
One outbreak of Avian Influenza was confirmed in Lagos, the commercial centre of Nigeria, in a report submitted to the World Organization for Animal Health by the country's chief veterinary officer, Dr Abdulganiyu Abubakar.
"During the last Christmas and New Year period, the Veterinary Department of the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives received a report of high mortalities of birds in poultry markets across the state," the Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Gbolahan Lawal disclosed. Samples were collected by the department and sent to the National Veterinary Research Institute in Vom, Plateau State, where they were found positive for the H5 strain of Avian Influenza. In the outbreak in Lagos state more than 2,000 birds were killed on the undisclosed poultry farm in Badore.
All chicken markets in Lagos State and environs have now been placed on red alert as veterinary institutions have stepped up surveillance to contain the avian influenza outbreak.
Meanwhile, poultry farmers in Kano State are currently living in fear following the outbreak of avian influenza in four local government areas of the state; Kumbotso, Tofa, Gwale and Minjibir.
The Kano State Ministry of Agriculture said so far, a total of 15 farms had been affected in the four local government areas. In one of the affected farms in Kumbotso Local Government Area, over 8,000 birds have been killed by the flu.
Nigeria was the first country in Africa to report H5N1 in poultry in 2006, according to the World Health Organisation, WHO.
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