Bird flu hits Plateau, kills 3,900 birds


An outbreak of bird flu, also known as avian influenza, has hit Plateau State, killing at least 3,900 birds.



The Chief Veterinary Officer of the state, Dr Spak Shaset, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Jos, that the outbreak had affected two farms in the Jos North and Jos South Local Government Areas of the state.



He said, “Sometimes in January, when we heard of an outbreak of the dreaded disease in some part of Bauchi State, we knew Plateau is at risk.



“I immediately summoned our divisional health officers in the 17 local government councils, and in less than 72 hours after we met, report got to us of suspected cases in some farms in the state.



“We immediately swung into action and took sample from the farms to our labs and it was confirmed it is bird flu.



“Without hesitation, we went and depopulated the farms to avoid further spread of the disease to other farms.



“More than 3,900 birds were destroyed; 2,900 from the farm in Jos South and 1,000 in the farm in Jos North.”



Shaset said the two farms were disinfected and quarantined to avoid further spread to nearby farms so that other poultry farmers would not incur losses.



The official said the government had taken steps to avert further spread of the disease to other areas of the state, which if left unattended to, could also transmit into human beings, which according to him, could be very disastrous.



Shaset charged poultry farmers and live bird marketers to step up bio-security and hygiene measures within and around their farms and markets.
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