The Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has said that the states of Kano, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger have reported confirmed human cases of H5N1 avian influenza, also called “bird flu.”
NCDC Director General Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu announced this Tuesday in an interview with the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) in Abuja, while highlighting the epidemiological situation and response activities in Nigeria.
NAN reports that avian influenza has strains of the influenza virus that primarily infect birds, but can also infect humans.
This type of flu is most often contracted by contact with sick birds and can also be transmitted from person to person. It is spread by respiratory droplets in the air (coughing or sneezing).
Symptoms start within two to eight days and are like the common flu. It can cause a cough, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, and shortness of breath.
Ihekweazu said that as of March 24, 2021, all seven states reported outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) (H5N1) cases in poultry.
The head of the NCDC said that official notification about the outbreak had been sent to the World Health Organization (WHO), as required by the International Health Regulations (IHR).
In addition, the Technical Working Group on Cholera (GTT) of various national agencies in the NCDC is monitoring the situation in eight states where there are reports of suspected cholera cases.
Dr Ihekweazu said this yesterday in an interview with NAN in Abuja while providing an update on cholera cases in the country.
The NCDC chief said that in March, the states of Benue, Delta, Zamfara, Gombe, Bayelsa, Kogi, Sokoto and Nasarawa had reported suspected cholera cases.
“As of March 28, a total of 1,746 suspected cases, including 50 deaths with a case mortality rate (CFR), which is 2.9%, have been reported in Benue, Delta, Zamfara, Gombe, Bayelsa, Kogi, Sokoto and Nasarawa states.
“Of the confirmed cases, 63.2 percent were between five and 14 years old. In addition, of the suspected cases, 48 percent were women and 52 percent were men, ”he said.
The Director General said that there had been a gradual increase in the number of new cases in the last two weeks.
“The state of Zamfara represents approximately 100 percent of the cases reported in the last two weeks. A total of 75 samples were collected, of which 49 were positive.
“The test positivity rate (TPR) for laboratory confirmation by culture is 14.7 percent,” he said.
Dr. Ihekweazu added: “Most people infected with cholera do not develop any symptoms, although the bacteria are present in the stool for one to ten days after infection and are released into the environment, potentially infecting other people.
“Among those who develop symptoms, the majority have mild or moderate symptoms, while a minority develop acute watery diarrhea with severe dehydration. Can this lead to death if not treated? “