Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, yesterday confirmed the outbreak of bird flu in seven states.
Speaking with newsmen at a news conference in Abuja, the minister however said the situation had not reached an epidemic proportion.
He said: “There is no cause for alarm. The recent outbreak of bird flu is well under control.”
He said while seven states were affected, the nation is not in a state of any epidemic.
The affected states include Kano, Lagos, Ogun, Delta, Rivers, Edo and Plateau. Dr. Adesina said the flu biotype is of the H5N1 virus which can be transmitted to humans.
Similarly, the Plateau State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Steven Barko, yesterday confirmed an outbreak of the flu in Jos, the state capital.
Barko told Daily Trust in Jos that the outbreak had been reported by the owner of a poultry in Rantya area of Jos South LGA and that the ministry had taken the sample to the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom near Jos where it was confirmed by laboratory scientists to be bird flu.
The commissioner said the ministry had since evacuated all birds at the affected farm and sealed it up.
In Abuja, the minister said as at yesterday, 140,390 birds had been associated with exposure to the disease while 22, 573 (16%) mortality was recorded. Adesina said 21 commercial farms, nine live bird markets and one private zoo were affected in the seven states.
The most affected state, he said, is Kano where the initial case was found with 103,445 birds exposed and a mortality of 15,963. The cases were found in Gwale, Kumbotso, Tofa, Gaya and Ungogo Local Government Areas.
For Lagos State, the minister said l 31,195 birds were under close watch with 3,347 mortality. The confirmed cases were from Somolu and Eti Osa LGAs. Other locations are in Ikorodu, Ojo and Lagos mainland which have already been quarantined while awaiting confirmation.
On measures to contain the disease, the minister said he had directed a nationwide comprehensive surveillance, quarantine, depopulation and decontamination of all affected poultry farms.
He added that the ministry was working closely with state governments, the Poultry Association of Nigeria, the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association and the Animal Science Association of Nigeria to put in place comprehensive measures to contain spread of the flu.
Directors of veterinary services in all states of the federation and the FCT, the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) and other stakeholders were advised to be on alert with intensified bio-security measures to avert possible spread of the disease to other states while the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Inter African Bureau for Animal Resource (AU-IBAR) the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and other development partners have been notified in compliance with statutory international obligations, the minister said.