Nigeria: new bird flu strain detected
A new strain of avian flu never before reported in
Africa has been identified in Nigeria, the United Nations Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) has announced.
Tests conducted by Nigeria and by the FAO show that
the new virus strain - which is similar to strains identified last year in
Italy, Afghanistan and Iran - is genetically distinct from other forms detected
in Nigerian outbreaks in 2006 and 2007.
â€œIt seems unlikely that wild
birds have carried the strain to Africa, since the last migration of wild birds
from Europe and Central Asia to Africa occurred in September 2007 and this
year's southerly migration into Africa has not really started yet,â€ said Scott
Newman, International Wildlife Coordinator of FAO's Animal Health Service.
He pointed to other avenues the virus could have taken to Nigeria, such
as international trade or illegal and unreported movement of poultry. â€œThis
increases the risk of an avian influenza spread to other countries in Western
Africa.â€ Related Website
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