Nigeria’s southern state reports bird flu outbreak

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Chickens are seen on a farm in Isiokpo, in southern Nigeria's Rivers State. (Creative Commons / International Livestock Research Institute)
Chickens are seen on a farm in Isiokpo, in southern Nigeria’s Rivers State. (Creative Commons / International Livestock Research Institute)

More than 160,000 poultry birds have been reported dead in a bird flu outbreak which has so far affected six local government areas in Nigeria’s southern state of Delta, said a local official on Wednesday.

At a press conference in Asaba, the capital of Delta on Wednesday, Julius Egbedi, the commissioner for agriculture in the state, said the state government has taken action to curtail the spread of the disease recorded since late June.

“On June 22, we got a call from some poultry farms in Ughelli on birds dying in their numbers. We dispatched our team of veterinary experts to the farms and they collected samples which we sent for analysis,” Egbedi said.

He said the result of the analysis confirmed an outbreak of the bird flu in the town, and later six local government areas reported cases of the disease.

The bird flu, also known as avian flu, is influenza that spreads among birds and can affect humans. The spread could lead to the catastrophic loss of revenues by poultry farmers and pose huge risks to consumers of poultry products.

Egbedi said the government had sent experts to disinfect the affected farms to further help curtail the spread.

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