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Bird Flu Appears In Nigeria

by Medindia Content Team on February 9, 2006 at 11:08 AM
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Bird Flu Appears In Nigeria

The bird flu's virulent H5N1 strain has been discovered in Kaduna of Nigeria, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). This has given rise to fears that a pandemic may start in Africa, as this is the fist incidence of bird flu in the Continent. Preventive measures like disinfection and quarantining have already been initiated by the Nigerian authorities, with regard to animals and birds.

The state of Kano is also reported to have reported incidences of the infection among the birds in the province, with several chickens reported dead. The Newcastle viral disease may also have been responsible for the bird deaths in Kano, which is relatively harmless where human beings are concerned. The migratory birds may have introduced the disease to Africa which has until now remained unaffected by the virus.

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The virus has till date infected only people who had come in contact with the birds, and it is yet to mutate into a form which can be transmitted from one human being to another. In Africa most rural people live in close proximity to their domestic birds, which may result in the rapid spread of the disease.

It may be very difficult to exterminate the infected birds in Africa where most governments do not have the funds to compensate the farmers. Most of the countries in the continent do not have the expertise for testing for the H5N1 strain disease either. The maximum possible cooperation has been promised to Nigeria by the World Organization for Animal Health to combat the infection.
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