NIGERIA - A second outbreak of highly pathogenic avian flu in the country has been confirmed at Badore, near Lagos in the south-west, where 2,000 poultry have been culled. The previous outbreak was in the far north of Nigeria and the government has embarked on active surveillance.
The Lagos State Government acknowledged on 16 January the reality of the bird flu outbreak in the state which it said had killed more than 2,000 birds in a poultry farm in Badore, reports This Day Live.
However, the state government said it had commenced intensive surveillance, which would focus on all poultry farms in the state in order to prevent spread of the deadly disease.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Gbolahan Lawal, disclosed the bird flu outbreak at a news conference he addressed alongside his health counterpart, Dr Jide Idris in Alausa, Lagos.
At the conference, the commissioner said the name of the poultry farm would not be disclosed for security reasons, adding that because of the outbreak of the flu, 2,000 birds “have been depopulated from the farm while the entire farm had been quarantined”.
He said: “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.”
He said bird samples collected by the department and sent to the National Veterinary Research Institute in Vom, Plateau State, had unfortunately been found positive for the H5 strain of the Avian Influenza popularly known as bird flu.
Dr Idris said: “Samples collected from a poultry farm in Badore have also been confirmed positive and a Zoological park based in Victoria Garden City presently experiencing high mortality of wild birds in captivity is on the suspicion list and it is being investigated.”
Mr Lawal said in order to contain the spread of the infection, the government had embarked on active Diseases Search by surveillance agents, Biosecurity Monitoring and Sensitisation in poultry farms and markets, disinfection of Poultry Markets and decontamination of affected farms and sensitisation of poultry farmers and traders on insurance policy issues.
He said: “To complement the above activities, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is collaborating with the State Ministry of Health, the Lagos State branch of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, National Agriculture Insurance Corporation (NAIC) and Lagos State Fowl Sellers Association.
“A team of eight technical staff, comprising of representatives of the Federal Livestock Department, National Quarantine Service and the National Veterinary Research Institute is currently in the state on disease assessment and surveillance,” he said.
Mr Lawal said the emergency active disease search carried out in the last 48 hours had so far indicated no spread of the disease, adding that in order to contain the spread, the active disease search is on-going in farms and poultry markets.
He added: “Sensitisation of poultry farmers and fowl sellers is being vigorously embarked on by the Surveillance and Extension Agents deployed by the ministry to cover the entire state. Disinfection of all live bird markets in the state is already on going.
“All poultry farmers and fowl sellers are hereby enjoined to adhere strictly to biosecurity measures and report unusual incidence of high mortalities of birds. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and the Ministry of Health have deployed surveillance agents to the various parts of the state.”
At the conference, reports This Day Live, Dr Idris said there was no cause for alarm and advised Lagosians to embrace basic hygiene to prevent contracting the disease, saying that people should ensure that they cook their birds properly before eating and report cases of mortality in birds in any area to the government.
You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.
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