Nigeria says bird flu outbreak under control

February 4, 2015 5:55 am 

LAGOS, Feb. 3 — The latest outbreak of Avian Influenza in Nigeria is under control, the government said on Monday, advising citizens not to panic.

The public should avoid eating sick or dead birds as well as avoid unnecessary exposure to poultry facilities, Khaliru Alhassan, the country's Supervising Minister of Health told a news conference in Abuja city.

The minister also enjoined the public to maintain good hygiene and ensure regular hand wash to prevent infectious diseases.

According to him, the public should also report severe symptoms of respiratory illness to the nearest health facility, especially where there is a history of contact with sick poultry.

Alhassan said pandemic response plan had been concluded and activated over the influenza, adding that copies of the plan would be made available to all strategic partners, soon.

He added that special public enlightenment messages had been prepared and would soon be released to the public.

He said during the outbreak, the government established a multi- sectoral response plan involving key government agencies and development partners.

The Nigerian minister told reporters that all state Ministries of Health had been alerted on the outbreak and advised to reactivate their Avian Influenza Control mechanisms that were established during the last outbreak.

Alhassan said closer collaboration between the Federal Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Rural Development, had been established on the influenza, adding that diseases surveillance system had been placed on high alert.

On Wednesday, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Akinwumi Adesina said the outbreak of bird flu had spread to 11 states of the country. (PNA/Xinhua)

LGI/EBP

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