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Avian Flu Spreads to New Nigerian States

22 January 2015

NIGERIA - Poultry mortalities from highly pathogenic avian influenza have been reported in the states of Ogun, Delta, Edo and Rivers. Farmers are being urged to raise biosecurity and consumers are warned only to buy poultry from reliable sources.

The confirmed cases of avian influenza (bird flu) on poultry farms in Nigeria have extended from Kano and Lagos states to four more states of Ogun, Delta, Edo and Rivers, according to Business Day.

A statement signed by Akinwunmi Adesina, minister for agriculture, confirms that bird flu is a disease primarily of poultry, but that human infection with the H5N1 virus is possible. Direct contact with infected poultry, or surfaces and objects contaminated by their faeces, is presently considered the main route of human infection.

Exposure could potentially occur during slaughter, de-feathering, butchering, and preparation of poultry for cooking but Mr Adesina stated: “There is no evidence to suggest that the avian influenza virus can be transmitted through the consumption of poultry and poultry products, as long as standard precautions regarding food storage, handling and preparation are followed.”

He added: “It is safe to eat poultry products. However, consumers should ensure that poultry is thoroughly cooked, juice runs clear and no visible pink meat. Internal temperatures for whole chicken should reach 85°C, while for chicken parts the temperature should reach 74°C and eggs should be cooked until the yolk is no longer runny.”

The minister called for full cooperation of all stakeholders in the poultry industry, urging everyone to enhance hygienic practices.

The Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources announced an outbreak of bird flu in Benin City, the state capital.

Business Day reports that Abdul Oroh, the state commissioner for agriculture and natural resources, urged the public not to panic but advised against buying any dead or sick bird from any source.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

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