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New bird flu hits 7 Nigeria states

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control announced Tuesday it has confirmed human cases of Avian Influenza H5N1 also called “Bird flu” 8n seven northern states.

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The NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu told News Agency of Nigeria, on Tuesday in Abuja during an interview.

The states include Kano, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger.

Avian Influenza is a strain of the influenza virus that primarily infect birds, but can also infect humans.

This type of flu is most often contracted by contact with sick birds, and can also be passed from person to person. It spreads by airborne respiratory droplets (coughs or sneezes).

Symptoms begin within two to eight days and are like the common flu. Cough, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, headache and shortness of breath may occur.

Ihekweazu said as of March 24, 2021, the seven states reported outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) cases (H5N1) in poultries.

“Health National Rapid Response Team (RRT) from NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture were deployed to Bauchi, Kano and Plateau States.

“A total of 83 human samples were received and 64 (87.7 per cent) samples were tested. Of the tested samples, seven (10.9 per cent) were positive for Flu A, six 85.7 per cent were subtype A/H5 while one 14.3 per cent was unsub-typable,” he explained.

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