A highly pathogenic form of avian influenza has been confirmed in Nigeria. The outbreak marks the first time the virus has shown up in the country since July 2008.

According to a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), a strain of H5 avian influenza was discovered in a backyard flock in Kano, Nigeria. Tests conducted on January 8 by the National Veterinary Research Institute proved positive for the virus.

The birds in the flock affected by H5 avian influenza included 22-week-old layers, 10-week-old growers and 4-week-old broilers. A total of 1,568 chickens were susceptible, with 1,370 of the birds dying from avian influenza. The remaining 198 susceptible chickens were slaughtered, according to the OIE report.


The source of the avian influenza outbreak has not yet been determined.

Protective measures conducted by animal health specialists included establishing a quarantine zone and disinfecting the affected premises.

Avian influenza cases have been widespread in recent months, causing concerns for members of the global poultry industry. Since mid-2014 avian influenza outbreaks have been confirmed in the Netherlands, Germany, U.K., Japan, Italy, India, Canada and the United States.

The OIE stated that it would submit weekly follow-up reports on the Nigerian avian influenza outbreak.