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  • AFD - Nigeria

    Bird Flu Detected In Nigerian Poultry

    # 2183

    Today we are hearing a little more about the outbreak of H5N1 reported in Nigerian poultry late last week.

    This first report is from Reuters, and it identifies the two cities where the virus was detected.

    Fresh bird flu outbreak in Nigerian poultry

    Mon 28 Jul 2008, 12:06 GMT

    ABUJA (Reuters) - An outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus has been found in two Nigerian poultry markets, the first discovery in almost 10 months in Africa's most populous nation, the agriculture ministry said on Monday.

    Junaidu Maina, agriculture director for the livestock department, said the infected chickens and ducks were located last week in the northern cities of Kano and Katsina.

    "Immediate actions have already been taken to control the outbreak. The affected farms are being depopulated and disinfected," he said.

    Three days ago CIDRAP had some early details, gleaned from an OIE incident report. Lisa Schnirring also updates us on Hong Kong and South Korea in this report, and as always, it is worth reading in its entirety.

    Nigeria finds H5N1 in bird markets

    Lisa Schnirring Staff Writer
    Jul 25, 2008 (CIDRAP News) ? Animal health officials in Nigeria today reported finding the H5N1 avian influenza virus at two live bird markets, as officials in Hong Kong announced they would go ahead with a buyout of poultry farmers and merchants to reduce the risk of H5N1 outbreaks in the city.

    The H5N1 findings in Nigeria came during routine surveillance, according to an epidemiology report submitted by Nigeria today to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

    On Jun 27, veterinary officials detected the virus in a chicken at a live bird market in Kebbi state, in northwestern Nigeria. On Jul 19, animal health workers found the virus in a duck at a live bird market in Gombe state in the east-central part of the country. The reports did not say if bird deaths were reported in the area or if the birds that were sampled appeared sick.
    (Continue . . .)

    The actual extent of the H5N1 virus in Sub-Saharan Africa is largely unknown. We've seen isolated reports of outbreaks in poultry, and a handful of human cases, but surveillance is almost non-existent in many areas.

    Frankly we've no idea how wide, or deep, the problem is in Africa.

    posted by FLA_MEDIC @ 9:45 AM

  • #2
    Re: AFD - Nigeria

    FAO Reports New Strain Of H5N1 Detected In Nigeria

    # 2225

    This morning we have some news out of Nigeria via the FAO (the UN's Food & Agriculture Organization). Laboratory findings show that a new bird flu virus, previously unseen in Africa, has appeared in Nigeria's poultry.

    First the article from the FAO Newsroom (slightly reformatted for readability), then a little discussion.

    New bird flu strain detected in Nigeria

    FAO calls for increased surveillance
    11 August 2008, Rome - A strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza previously not recorded in sub-Saharan Africa has been detected in Nigeria for the first time, FAO said today. Nigeria has recently reported two new Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreaks in the states of Katsina and Kano.

    Laboratory results from Nigeria and an FAO reference laboratory in Italy show that the newly discovered virus strain is genetically different from the strains that circulated in Nigeria during earlier outbreaks in 2006 and 2007. The new strain has never been reported before in Africa; it is more similar to strains previously identified in Europe (Italy), Asia (Afghanistan) and the Middle East (Iran) in 2007.

    ?The detection of a new avian influenza virus strain in Africa raises serious concerns as it remains unknown how this strain has been introduced to the continent,? warned Scott Newman, International Wildlife Coordinator of FAO?s Animal Health Service.

    ?It seems to be 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,? Newman said.

    ?It could well be that there are other channels for virus introduction: international trade, for example, or illegal and unreported movement of poultry. This increases the risk of avian influenza spread to other countries in Western Africa.?

    (Continue. . . )

    The prevalence of the H5N1 bird flu virus in sub Saharan Africa is largely unknown, although we've seen ample evidence that the virus is endemic in Nigeria, and presumably other countries as well.

    Surveillance is generally poor, and in some countries, it is non-existent.

    The FAO is working with many nations to improve this situation, and has provided technical assistance, equipment, and veterinary drugs to help combat avian flu in many of these countries.

    Much of what we do know about what's going on in Africa comes from their efforts.

    While only a handful of human cases have been reported in Africa, the true extent of such cases is unknown. Thousands of people die every day from a multitude of diseases in Africa. TB, Malaria, AIDS, Rift Valley fever, malnutrition, and a host of other factors take a terrible toll.

    Many people die in their villages without ever seeing a doctor. Even in bigger cities, testing for the bird flu virus is rarely, if ever, done.

    So we are left with precious little data, one way or another.

    As you can see from this map (, the H5N1 bird flu virus has spread across much of Asia, Europe, and has made inroads into Africa.

    The question now is how did a `European strain' of bird flu suddenly end up in Nigeria?

    posted by FLA_MEDIC @ 7:49 AM