The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has confirmed the outbreak of human cases of Avian Influenza H5N1 also called “Bird flu” in seven states of the country.
The NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu while speaking to journalists revealed that the cases were confirmed in Kano, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger States.
The NCDC boss said as of March 24, 2021, the seven states reported outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) cases (H5N1) in poultries.
He added that the Health National Rapid Response Team (RRT) from NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture have since been deployed to Bauchi, Kano and Plateau States.
“A total of 83 human samples were received and 64 (87.7 per cent) samples were tested. Of the tested samples, seven (10.9 per cent) were positive for Flu A, six 85.7 per cent were subtype A/H5 while one 14.3 per cent was unsub-typable,” he explained.
The NCDC boss said official notification about the outbreak had been conveyed to the World Health Organisation (WHO) as required by the International Health Regulations (IHR).
He added that an official report had also been sent to the authorities at both the Federal level and the affected states.
Bird flu can be described as strains of the influenza virus that primarily infect birds, but can also infect humans and it is most often contracted by contact with sick birds, and can also be passed from person to person.
The flu spreads by airborne respiratory droplets (coughs or sneezes).
After being infected with the flu, the symptoms begin within two to eight days like the common flu. Cough, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, headache and shortness of breath may also occur.