The Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu has said Kano, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger states have reported confirmed human cases of Avian Influenza H5N1, also called “Bird flu”.
Avian Influenza has strains of the influenza virus that primarily infects birds but can also infect humans.
NCDC Boss disclosed this on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, while giving highlights of the epidemiological situation and response activities in Nigeria.
“This type of flu is most often contracted by contact with sick birds, and can also be passed from person to person. It spreads by airborne respiratory droplets (coughs or sneezes).
“Symptoms begin within two to eight days and are like the common flu. Cough, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, and shortness of breath may occur.
“As of March 24, 2021, the seven states reported outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) cases (H5N1) in poultries”, Ihekweazu said.
The NCDC boss said official notification about the outbreak had been conveyed to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as required by the International Health Regulations (IHR).
Also, the national multi-agency cholera Technical Working Group (TWG) at the NCDC is monitoring situations in eight states where there are reports of suspected cholera cases.
Ihekweazu said as at March, Benue, Delta, Zamfara, Gombe, Bayelsa, Kogi, Sokoto, and Nasarawa states had reported suspected cholera cases.
“As of March 28, a total of 1,746 suspected cases, including 50 deaths with a Case Fatality Rate (CFR), that is 2.9 per cent, have been reported from Benue, Delta, Zamfara, Gombe, Bayelsa, Kogi, Sokoto and Nasarawa states.
“Of the confirmed cases, 63.2 per cent were aged five to 14 years. Also, of the suspected cases, 48 per cent were females and 52 per cent were males,” he said.
The Director-General said there had been a gradual increase in the number of new cases in the last two weeks.
“Zamfara State accounts for about 100 per cent of cases reported in the last two weeks. A total of 75 samples were collected out of which 49 tested positive.
“The Test Positivity Rate (TPR) for laboratory confirmation by culture is 14.7 per cent,” he said.
“Most people infected with cholera do not develop any symptoms, although the bacteria are present in their feces for one to 10 days after infection and are shed back into the environment, potentially infecting other people.
“Among people who develop symptoms, the majority have mild or moderate symptoms, while a minority develops acute watery diarrhea with severe dehydration. This can lead to death if left untreated”, Ihekweazu added.
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