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Bird flu: Avoid contact with birds, Lagos govt warns

Bird flu: Avoid contact with birds, Lagos govt warns
February 02
18:15 2015
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The Lagos state government has advised the public to maintain adequate personal and environmental hygiene as part of the measures to curb the spread of bird flu to humans.

Jide Idris, the state commissioner for health, gave the advice on Monday, warning against contact with chickens, ducks or other birds, including their feathers, faeces and other wastes.

”In the wake of an outbreak of the Avian Influenza virus popularly called bird flu among chickens and other birds in Lagos, we urge the public to be cautious,” he said.

”Avoid slaughtering and cooking of sick or already dead poultry or birds and ensure that poultry products and eggs are thoroughly cooked before eating.

”Ensure rearing of poultry far from the dwellings and sleeping areas and make sure cooking surfaces are well clean before and after preparation of poultry products.

”Wash hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly, particularly after touching any poultry, eggs or bird meat and keep children away from sick or dead poultry and birds.”

The commissioner explained that the H5N1 strain of the virus presently circulating among chicken and other birds in the state was very infectious and had caused deaths of millions of birds.

He added that during the outbreak of the virus in 2007, 166 people in 11 African countries were killed.

Idris said apart from the loss of chickens and other birds, no case of human have been reported in the state.

He said that the initial symptoms of the disease included high body temperature and fever above 37.5Oc, cough, sore throat, runny nose, difficulty in breathing, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

He also identified chest pain, bleeding from nose and gum, hoarseness of voice and bloody sputum as other symptoms.

Idris said that the ministries of health and agriculture were currently working together to stop the spread of the flu among birds and prevent its transmission to humans.

He advised the public to be vigilant and report any person, dead or alive with a history of having been in direct or indirect contact with dead poultry or confirmed cases of the disease.

The commissioner gave out the following numbers: 08023169485 and 08023213333 as contacts for more information about the disease.

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