Food security in Nigeria will be at risk, a United National Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative said, unless intense surveillance and control measures for avian influenza are implemented.
The virus that has been plaguing the global poultry industry in 2015 was detected in a backyard flock in January that included broilers, layers and growers, according to a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). That was the first confirmed case of avian influenza in Nigeria since 2008. Since that time, OIE has reported 51 more avian influenza outbreaks. In total, 167,064 birds – most of which have been layers -- have been susceptible, with 6,951 birds dying and another 140,839 being destroyed.
The virus has also spread into Niger, first entering that country near the Nigerian border. It was the first avian influenza case in Niger since 2006.
While speaking at a two-day training workshop for disease surveillance agents, FAO representative Dr. Louise Setshwaelo said that if the spread of the virus is not stopped in Nigeria, it will become endemic.
"Then we will have even a bigger problem to deal with. The resurgence of avian influenza in the country has serious implication given the importance of poultry industry to the livelihood and food security as well as health implications,” said Setshwaelo.
To keep current on the global avian influenza situation, bookmark WATTAgNet’s avian influenza page, which includes news reports and analysis concerning avian influenza.