Sunday, May 27, 2007

Nigeria Report Fresh Outbreak Of H5N1

Along with Indonesia, Nigeria is often cited by the World Health Organisation as the country most likely to become the epicentre of a human H5N1 pandemic.

The latest outbreak of H5N1 in Nigeria appears to have be contained to a small number of poultry birds, and the authorities reacted swiftly, and impressively :

Health authorities reported Wednesday an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in Nigeria's northern state of Zamfara, the official NAN news agency said.

The virus was confirmed through tests on affected birds in Namaturu village and more than 200 birds had been culled to curtail the spread of the disease, said Aminu Abdulrazak from the state health ministry.

The whole area had been disinfected and villagers had been advised to follow advice from doctors on the matter, he added.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation with some 140 million people, earlier this year reported west Africa's first human bird flu death.

A 22-year-old woman died in Lagos on January 17 weeks after plucking and disembowelling a chicken.

Bird flu was first detected in Nigeria on a farm in Jaji town outside the northern city of Kano in February last year from where it spread to other parts of the country.

Kano, northern Nigeria's most populous city, was worst affected by the flu outbreak which ravaged 97 farms in the city resulting in the death or culling of at least 300,000 birds, officials said.

Three more northern states -- Katsina, Sokoto and Bauchi -- have recorded a resurgence of bird flu since it resurfaced in Kano.

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