Human cases of Avian Influenza H5N1 otherwise known as ‘bird flu’ has been confirmed in seven Nigerian states.
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu made the announcement on Tuesday April 6.
The affected states are Kano, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger states. Ihekweazu also said an official notification about the outbreak had been conveyed to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as required by the International Health Regulations (IHR).
Strains of the influenza virus that primarily infect birds, can also infect humans. This type of flu is most often contracted by contact with sick birds. It can also be passed from person to person.
Symptoms begin within two to eight days and can seem like the common flu. Cough, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, headache and shortness of breath may occur.
The disease can carry a high mortality in humans. Some antiviral drugs, if taken within two days of symptoms, may help.
The public are thereby warned to avoid the sale, slaughter and consumption of sick birds and ensure chicken products are properly cooked before consumption.