Panic as new variant of Bird Flu discovered in Kano

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has warned of a new deadly strain of Avian Influenza (popularly known as Bird Flu) in the country.

This was disclosed by the minister of agriculture and rural development, Audu Ogbeh, in Abuja on Tuesday during a stakeholder meeting with poultry farmers and commissioners of agriculture from 36 states of the federation.

In his words, “recently, a new strain of bird flu virus, the H5N8 was reported again in Kano. The new strain is believed to be very pathogenic and more devastating to the poultry species, and therefore, it may further add to the burden of the stain of HN H5N1 that is currently circulating the country.”

He advised against attempts by poultry farmers in the country to vaccinate their birds. Stating that such might bring more harm than good as there is yet, no scientifically proven vaccine for the virus.

“Since there is no vaccine yet found, we also warn against attempting to vaccinate, because you may in fact worsen the situation.” He warned.

The minister urged the state governments and other relevant stakeholders to join hands with the Federal Government in bringing lasting solution to the virus.

Bird flu, also called avian influenza is a prevalent disease caused by viruses adapted to birds. It is transmitted through contact with an infected bird either dead or alive.

The disease outbreak was first recorded in Nigeria in 1996 and has resurfaced intermittently over the years.

Recent discovery of the outbreak of the disease was recorded in Kano, Lagos, Ogun and some other states of in the country in late 2016.

The disease can get into human host when infected bird is consumed, with few cases of deaths recorded in the past.

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