By Doyin Ojosipe
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. AKinwumi Adesina, has disclosed that about 5 more states; Kano, Lagos, Ogun, Plateau, Delta, Edo and Rivers, have been hit with the avian influenza, also known as bird flu.
At a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, the Minister also confirmed that while blood samples were taken to the National Veterinary Institute in Jos, it was able to detect the H5N1strain of virus.
He revealed that about 21 commercial farms, 9 live bird markets and 1 private zoo have so far been affected, while over 22,000 of the birds have been reported dead across the country.
Bird flu was first reported in Nigeria in 2006 when a farm in Kaduna was affected after which it circulated to about 25 states.
The bird virus also resurfaced in Kano in 2008 and early this year, in January 8 it was noticed first in Lagos and Ogun, then later Port Harcourt before circulating to 5 more states.
The Minister however assured Nigerians not to panic as the situation is under control, urging Nigerians to cook all poultry products properly before consumption.
He said that directors of veterinary services in all states including FCT Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) have been advised to be on alert by doubling bio-security measures in order to stem possible spread of the disease to other states.
Adesina also said that infected premises have been quarantined and restrictions place on movement of birds in and out of such states as well.