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February 16, 2006

Another update from Nigeria

Nigeria is investigating a possible outbreak of bird flu near its northern border with Niger as Ukraine's government said officials are probing possible new cases in the Crimean peninsula.

Agriculture officials in Nigeria's Katsina state destroyed more than 1,000 chickens suspected of being infected with the H5N1 avian influenza strain in the state capital, the Nigerian government said yesterday in a statement. An initial poultry outbreak, Africa's first, was confirmed last week.


AP has more:

A deadly strain of bird flu may have emerged in eight of Nigeria's 36 states, authorities said Monday, as concerns grew that the virus had been spreading long before officials knew it was in Africa.

[...] Nigeria, which reported Africa's first cases of the disease in birds, was screening workers from the farm where the H5N1 strain was first discovered. It was confirmed in three northern states and has already killed thousands of birds in the area.

On Monday, health officials said five additional states were also suspected to have the disease.

Barry Schoub, executive director of South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases, said the virus probably has spread over a much more extensive area in Nigeria and that he expected to see large-scale destruction of birds there.

"The Nigeria case is very, very concerning because the spread in poultry appears to have been going on for quite some time and may well be more extensive," Schoub told reporters in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Posted by dymaxion at February 16, 2006 02:59 PM

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