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Bird flu outbreak recorded in 7 states, says NCDC

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says seven states have reported cases of avian influenza (bird flu) outbreak in the country.

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According to NAN, Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of the agency, said this on Tuesday while giving highlights of the epidemiological situation and response activities in Nigeria.

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Ihekweazu said as of March 24, the seven states reported outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) cases (H5N1) in poultries.

He listed the affected states as Kano, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger.

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Ihekweazu said an official notification about the outbreak had been conveyed to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as required by the International Health Regulations (IHR).

“A total of 83 human samples were received and 64 (87.7 percent) samples were tested,” he said.

“Of the tested samples, seven (10.9 per cent) were positive for Flu A, six 85.7 per cent were subtype A/H5 while one 14.3 per cent was unsub-typable.

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“Avian influenza outbreak Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at level 1 has been activated at national and in two states (Plateau and Gombe).

“Two states have reported seven cases among humans – Kano four and Plateau three. Only Kano, Plateau, Bauchi and Gombe States have had human contacts of birds followed up.

Ihekweazu said out of the 83 contacts reported, 27 contacts are from Nasarawa, Ungogo and Gwale LGAs in Kano state.

He said others are 18 contacts from two LGAs (Jos north and south) in Plateau; 19 contacts from two LGAs (Bauchi and Toro) in Bauchi state, and 19 contacts from three LGAs (Kaltungo, Yamaltu Deba and Gombe) in Gombe state.

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He said all contacts were farmers, farm workers, bird handlers and traders.

“A total of 83 human nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal samples have been collected from contacts of confirmed birds in four states: Kano (27), Plateau (18), Bauchi (19) and Gombe (19),” he said.

“A total of 13 blood samples have also been collected from the very-close contacts (human) of the birds in three states: Plateau (3), Bauchi (5), and Gombe (5).

“Of 83 human samples collected, 64 (87.7 percent) samples were analysed using Real time Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Of 64 samples analysed, only 7 (10.9 percent) were positive for Flu A.”

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Ihekweazu said sensitisation has been carried out in the affected states.

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