Agric Minister Announces Bird Flu Outbreak in 7 States

The Minister for Ag­riculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, yesterday announced that avian influenza, also known as bird flu, has hit the na­tion’s agriculture sector with thousands of dead birds re­corded already.

Adesina, however, clarified that the development has not got to crisis level and that his ministry was doing its best to control it effectively.

While addressing the media on the situation, he indicated that the outbreak has “not hit epidemic level, and there is no cause for alarm because al­though we know that bird flu can be transmitted to human beings, we have not had such problem.”

On the crisis level, the min­ister said: “We are not in a state of any epidemic. Seven states so far have reported cas­es of the bird flu. They include Kano, Lagos, Ogun, Delta, Rivers, Edo and Plateau states. To date, 21 commercial farms, nine live bird markets and pri­vate zoos have been affected in the seven states.”

He explained that as at yes­terday, a total of 140,390 birds had been infected by bird flu, with 22,573 or 16 per cent mortality recorded.

According to the minister, Kano is the most affected of the states where the index case was found.

“In that state, 103,445 cases have been reported as exposed to the influenza, and 15,963 of them dead. The areas of the state involved are Gwale, Kumbotso, Tofa, Ungogo and Gaya local government areas.”

He stated that in the affect­ed states, there had been quick and various levels of interven­tions, including depopulation, decontamination and quaran­tine currently ongoing.

He assured that: “Our min­istry is spearheading a rapid response system in close col­laboration with the state gov­ernments’ ministries of agri­culture. At the moment, we have been able to contain the dis­ease in Kano and Lagos states by the joint teams of the fed­eral and states staff in these ar­eas, the reported cases in Riv­ers and Delta states are being monitored.”

He also told Nigerians not to shy away from eating poul­try products, as there are no infections in them.

“Nigeria has the largest do­mestic poultry production in Africa with South Africa as second largest. So, the reason I made it a duty to address Nigerians on this is because if there is any effect on the sector through boycott informed by fear and the lack of informa­tion, that would not be a good development for the economy and agriculture. I want to clarify that the spread of avian influenza is essentially through contact between the birds and people that attend to them. Immedi­ately the meat is cooked, the infection dies. So, let Nigerians feel free to eat chicken and eggs be­cause there is no bird flu that is transmitted through such source, especially when Nige­rians are known for cooking their meat very well before serving.”

Source: The Sun

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“Agric Minister Announces Bird Flu Outbreak in 7 States”

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