Friday, January 29, 2016

2.5m Chickens Now Affected By Bird Flu In Nigeria, As Disease Spreads To 18 States

Avian Influenza, popularly referred to as bird flu, is now in 18 states in Nigeria and has affected over 2.5 million chickens resulting in the loss of several billions of naira, the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science has said.
Avian Influenza or bird flu is an infectious viral disease of birds. While most Avian Influenza viruses do not infect humans, a few others like A(H5N1) and A(H7N9) have caused serious infections in people.
NIAS, which is the regulatory agency of the Federal Government for the regulation of all matters pertaining to animal husbandry in Nigeria, on Friday stated that bird flu was spreading so fast and as such all adequate measures to stop the spread must be enforced.
Asked to state the number of birds affected by the disease, the Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, NIAS, Dr. Godwin Oyedeji, said, “By the last count, I think as of yesterday (Thursday), not less than 2.5 million chickens have been infected and over 700 farms have been affected nationwide. From one incidence in one state and moving to two states, it has increased and I think by now we are having it in not less than 18 states.”
Oyedeji, who spoke during a press briefing in Abuja, added, “In the Kuje area, here in the Federal Capital Territory, over 900,000 birds have been affected. This should not continue, and it is because things that should be done are not being done.
“If we cannot prevent wild birds that carry the influenza from overflying Nigeria and if the virus has come into Nigeria, then we can prevent, through good animal husbandry practices, the spread from one farm to the other.”
He noted that something was wrong somewhere, adding that the institute had gone to the field to ascertain what was not being done right by poultry farmers.

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