Bird flu outbreak confirmed in 11 Nigerian states

Lagos: The Nigerian government Wednesday confirmed the outbreak of bird flu in 11 states.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, made the disclosure at an emergency meeting on avian influenza (bird flu) in Abuja, according to a Xinhua report.

The states affected by the outbreak of the disease were Kano, Lagos, Ogun, Rivers, Delta, Edo, Plateau, Gombe, Imo, Oyo and Jigawa, the minister said.

He announced that the government had approved funds to compensate farmers affected by the outbreak.

Adesina directed that the compensation should be paid to the farmers within 72 hours.

The compensation was for 39 farms across nine states where depopulation of birds was carried out as a measure to control the outbreak, he added.

According to the minister, as of Jan 21, a total of 139,505 birds were exposed to the virus with 22,173 recorded deaths and as of Jan 27, 232,385 birds were exposed, with 51,444 recorded deaths.

Adesina said that his ministry was working closely to contain the spread of bird flu.

He said that he had directed a nationwide comprehensive surveillance, quarantine, depopulation and decontamination of affected poultry farms.

Bird flu, also known as avian flu or avian influenza refers to influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds.

It has caused a global concern owing to its possible transmission to humans and the threat of a pandemic if it mutates to a form that can be easily passed from birds to humans and then, from human to human.