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Fresh Outbreak Of Bird Flu In Nigeria

The Nigerian Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) has confirmed an outbreak of bird flu at a poultry farm in Kakara village in the northern state of Kano on Thursday//.

Timothy Obi, leader of the Avian Influenza task force team of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), has told reporters that the institute claimed to have diagnosed samples of dead chickens from the farm and found them to be infected with the deadly H5N1 virus.

An official at the Avian Influenza Crisis Management Center who wished to remain anonymous also confirmed the outbreak. He stated that the virus was detected on Monday among the over 16,000 chickens on the farm. He also added that 11 samples of the dead chickens from the farm were taken to the NVRI for laboratory analysis that later confirmed the virus.

Malam Mohammed Aminu Adamu, chairman of Kano Branch of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), stated that all the birds at Omatiga farm where the outbreak has occurred have been culled and they have decontaminated the farm to prevent any further spread.

It is reported that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, were worried that the disease in Kano might resurge barely a month after it was declared free of the virus. Sources have claimed that the government and the Nigeria Veterinary Council and the FAO officials were intensifying their surveillance, while the NVRI was continuing with the task of finding ways to stamp out the deadly disease.

The US embassy in Nigeria stated that the United States has given Nigeria specialised equipment and supplies worth $356 500 to help in support of the fight against avian influenza. They said that the items that were donated included essential equipment such as sprayers, rubber boots, GPS units, first aid kits, gloves and disinfecting brushes.

The outbreak of avian influenza, otherwise known as bird flu, was first confirmed in the country on Feb.7, 2006. Bu t so far no human being has been infected.


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