Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Media: Nigeria Confirms H5N1 In 7 States


Nigeria - Credit Wikipedia


# 9605


Assuming the media reports today are correct, the mystery over what subtype of HPAI H5 was detected in Nigeria more than 10 days ago (see OIE Report: H5 In Nigerian Poultry) has been answered. 


According to a reported news conference today (Wednesday) by Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD)  Dr. AKinwumi Adesina, the culprit is H5N1, and it has now been detected in 7 Nigerian states (out of 36).

A visit to Nigeria’s FMARD website disappointingly reveals no news updates in more than a month, and there are no new updates today on the OIE website, but we do have the following report from the online version of THISDAY.


Bird Flu Hits Five Additional States

21 Jan 2015

Adebiyi Adedapo in Abuja

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. AKinwumi Adesina, has said that Nigeria was not in a bird flu epidemic (Avian Influenza), as the disease has hit only seven states of the federation.

Adesina who briefed journalists Wednesday in Abuja disclosed that a total of 140,390 birds have been associated with H5N1 virus bird flu exposures, while 22, 573, which represents 16 per cent mortality was recorded.

He said Ogun, Delta, Rivers, Edo and Plateau states now have so far recorded cases of bird flu in addition to Kano and Lagos states, which was reported last week.

“We can now confirm that the cases were due to the H5N1 virus. We are not in any state of epidemic, seven states have so far reported cases of the bird flu: Kano, Lagos, Ogun, Delta, Rivers, Edo and Plateau states. To date, 21 commercial farms, 9 live bird markets and one private zoo have been affected in the seven states.”


A similar report from Bloomberg’s Businessweek (see Nigeria Avian Flu Spreads as Movement of Livestock Banned):

In response to the latest outbreak, authorities in Africa’s most populous country have quarantined infected areas, placed restrictions on livestock movements in the states and activated an emergency response plan.


This is not Nigeria’s first brush with H5N1, as during the great H5N1 diaspora of 2005-2006 - when the virus moved from being essentially a problem for a a handful of Southeast Asian nations to a Eurasia-wide threat (see H5N8: A Case Of Deja Flu?) – Nigeria saw 13 states affected by the virus and at least one death.


For a look at some of the reports and problems with reporting of avian flu in Nigeria, you may wish to revisit The Nigerian Paradox and Nigeria Confirms Human Bird Flu Case.


While the FMARD Minister is offering reassurances that the virus  `has hit only seven states of the federation’, it should be noted that large swaths of (mostly northern) Nigeria are not under the control of the central government (rather, by Boko Harum), and that reporting and surveillance from these regions is likely severely lacking.

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