Bird Flu Returns To Nigeria in 2015

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The minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has disclosed that Nigeria is under the scourge of the deadly H5 strain of Avian Influenza virus.

“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) wishes to notify the general public that an unusual high mortality has been reported in two poultry farms and live bird markets in Kano and Lagos States.

“The samples forwarded to the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom, tested positive for the H5 strain of Avian Influenza virus and confirmatory samples have been sent to the International Reference Laboratory in Padova, Italy, for further characterisation,” a press statement obtained by LEADERSHIP Friday, yesterday, read in part.

However, the minister has assured that it is on top of the situation, saying, “We wish to assure the public that given our experiences in handling previous outbreaks and with your full cooperation in the implementation of containment measures, we are determined to contain this disease again within a short time.”

The statement added that the ministry had taken measures such as quarantining infected premises and restriction of the movement of poultry and poultry products into and out of affected sites. It added that all state directors of veterinary services, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) and other stakeholders have been informed and advised to be on alert with intensified bio-security measures to avert the possible spread of the disease to other states.

“The World Organisation for Animal Health, Inter African Bureau For Animal Resource and Development Partners have been appropriately notified in compliance with our statutory international obligations as well as the immediate re-activation of all animal health component of the Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) on Bird flu for Nigeria as well as conduct of surveillance activities around infected areas to determine the level of spread of the disease,” the minister said.

The minister called on all stakeholders in the poultry industry to enhance hygienic practices (bio-security measures) which include, but is not limited to, regular disinfection, proper disposal of dead carcasses and poultry products and timely reporting of mortalities in poultry and other bird species to veterinary authorities.

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