At a time when Nigeria is still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed the outbreak of Avian Influenza, also known as Bird flu in seven states across the country.
Avian Influenza is a strain of the influenza virus that primarily infects birds, but can also infect humans.
The Cable, citing NAN, reported that Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of the NCDC, spoke about the outbreak of the disease on Tuesday, April 6, while giving highlights of the epidemiological situation and response activities in Nigeria.
According to the NCDC boss, as of March 24, the seven states reported outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) cases (H5N1) in poultries.
He listed the affected states as:
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According to The Punch, Ihekweazu said the NCDC has already tested some human samples for the disease
“A total of 83 human samples were received and 64 (87.7 per cent) samples were tested. Of the tested samples, seven (10.9 per cent) were positive for Flu A, six 85.7 per cent were subtype A/H5 while one 14.3 per cent was unsub-typable.''
Ihekweazu said out of the 83 contacts reported, 27 contacts are from Nasarawa, Ungogo and Gwale local government areas (LGA) in Kano state.
He said others are 18 contacts from two LGAs (Jos north and south) in Plateau; 19 contacts from two LGAs (Bauchi and Toro) in Bauchi state, and 19 contacts from three LGAs (Kaltungo, Yamaltu Deba and Gombe) in Gombe state.
The NCDC boss disclosed that test result shows that two states have reported seven cases among humans – Kano four and Plateau three.
He said all the contacts were farmers, farmworkers, bird handlers, and traders.
Meanwhile, with the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) for COVID-19 will henceforth operate as the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC).
In a press briefing on Tuesday, April 6, the chairman of the defunct PTF, Boss Mustapha, said the transition to the PSC took effect from Thursday, April 1, Channels TV reports.
A report by The Nation quoted Mustapha to have revealed that the new committee will operate till the end of 2021.
In another news, the senior pastor of Trinity House, Ituah Ighodalo, has sent a message to some Nigerian Christian clerics who have refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine and are preaching to their congregations to follow suit.
Ighodalo admonished that what such religious leaders should understand is that God has provided a solution and remedy for the deadly pandemic, which is the vaccine, Punch reported.
The pastor, therefore, noted that it will be foolishness on the part of anyone who preaches that taking the jab is an act of unbelief in the supreme and miraculous power of the Almighty.