Bird Flu hits Nigerian-states. Human cases of Avian Influenza H5N1 also called “Bird flu” has been confirmed in 7 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.
Bird flu (avian influenza) is a disease caused by strains of influenza virus that primarily affects birds. In the late 1990s, a new strain of bird flu arose that was remarkable for its ability to cause severe disease and death, especially in domesticated birds such as ducks, chickens, or turkeys. As a result, this strain was called highly pathogenic (meaning very severe and contagious) avian influenza and termed H5N1.
A new strain of bird flu was identified in China in 2013. The influenza A virus is termed H7N9 (H7N9 Chinese bird flu). The identification of the virus (H7N9) was reported Mar. 31, 2013; the strain is antigenically different from the H5N1 bird flu virus. Unfortunately, the H7N9 strain of bird flu seems to be genetically unstable. Since its discovery, at least 48 different subtypes o
be genetically unstable. Since its discovery, at least 48 different subtypes of H7N9 have been identified. Because some H7N9 viruses are persistent in some chicken flocks in China, researchers are concerned that the strains will continue to swap genes with other flu viruses and may start a new pandemic, but that has not happened to date.
Since the identification of highly pathogenic influenza, infected birds have been found in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Careful control measures, including destroying infected flocks and vaccinating healthy birds, have reduced the number of cases, but the virus continues to exist in poultry flocks in areas of Asia and Africa. In 2007-2008, there were small outbreaks in Bangladesh and Pakistan due to infected domestic chicken flocks.