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Bird flu spreads to Rivers state

Bird flu spreads to Rivers state
January 20
12:03 2015
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The Rivers state government says it has killed hundreds of fowls infected by the Avian Flu in a privately-owned farm in Port Harcourt, capital of the state

Emma Chinda, the commissioner for agriculture, told NAN that the farm had been quarantined and decontaminated.

He said samples of the flu had been taken to the Veterinary Research Institute in Vom, Plateau state, adding that no human infection had been recorded.

Chinda said before the outbreak, the federal ministry of agriculture hinted Rivers state government on avian influenza in Kano and a bird market in Lagos.

“On January 14, we got a report from a farm that was worrisome. The report we got suggested that the farm may have been infected by the highly-pathogenic avian influenza,” he said.

“We sent the flu to the Veterinary Research Institute, Jos, and when the result came out on January 17, it read positive of highly-pathogenic avian influenza.

“On the basis of that, we had to take necessary steps. Apart from quarantining the farm, we had to depopulate the birds in the farm to stop further spread.

“Thereafter, we decontaminated the farm. We are containing the situation because officials of government and experts are on ground monitoring the situation.”

Chinda assured the public that there was no need to panic because government was well equipped to handle the situation.

“We were very much on alert and when it happened here, we handled the situation,” he said.

On January 15, the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development announced an “unusual high mortality” in two poultry farms and live bird markets in Kano and Lagos states.

The following day, Gbolahan Lawal, Lagos commissioner for agriculture and cooperative, said the government had destroyed 2,000 birds at a poultry farm in the Badore area of the state, in a bid to contain the outbreak ofthe disease.

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