Ebonyi records first bird flu case

Poultry farm used to illustrate the story.

The first case of Avian Influenza infection has been recorded in Ebonyi State.

The virus was detected in a poultry farm at Ugwuachara area of Abakaliki.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Orji Uchenna, confirmed the detection of the virus after a visit to the farm for an on the spot assessment.

According to him, the attention of his ministry was drawn to the development following massive death of the birds.

He stated that officials of the state veterinary services took a sample of the carcass to a research institute in Jos where it was confirmed that the birds died from the H5NI strains of the Avian Influenza.

Mr. Orji directed the veterinary department of the Ministry to isolate the farm and take inventory of all poultry and ancillary farms in the state while sustaining enlightenment on the influenza.

The Director of the Veterinary Service and Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ibiam Okoro, who led the Commissioner to the farm said the Department had already mounted surveillance to contain the possible spread of the virus.

Mr. Okoro, who emphasized that the strain detected in the farm was only transmissible from animal to animal, warned poultry farmers and the people of the state against the sale or consumption of sick or dead chicken.

The Avian Influenza control Project Desk Officer in the state, Rita Okoro, said the alarm by the owner of the farm helped in checking the spread of the virus to other farms in the state.

One of the supervisors of the farm, Victoria Chukwu, said that the sudden massive death of the birds aroused suspicion as they failed to respond to treatment.


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