The Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, Akinwunmi Adeshina yesterday revealed in a press conference in Abuja that the bird flu virus has now spread to 5 additional states across the country, apart from Lagos and Kaduna states where instances of the avian flu was first recorded.
Among the states recently affected are Ogun, Delta, Rivers, Edo and Plateau States. The minister also explained that 15 commercial farms and 9 live bird markets have been affected in the states mentioned. However, he reiterated that the disease is not at an epidemic level. He continues: “We are not in a state of any epidemic. Seven states have so far reported cases of the bird flu – Kano, Lagos, Ogun, Delta, Rivers, Edo and Plateau States. The most affected state has been Kano, where the initial case of the bird flu was found. In all of these states, different levels of interventions, including depopulation, decontamination and quarantine are currently ongoing.”
The bird flu can be highly fatal if the virus spreads over to humans as observed in the Asian bird flu epidemic in 1997 which originated from Hong Kong, spreading throughout many countries in East Asia, and claiming many lives in the process.