Paris, 8 February 2006 - Today Nigerian Authorities have officially notified the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) of the occurrence of an outbreak of Avian Influenza in poultry on their territory. The notification report is available on the OIE website (www.oie.int).
According to this report, the outbreak affected a commercial layers unit kept in battery cages, in the Kaduna state (Jaji village), in the northern part of the country.
Stamping out, quarantine, animal movement control inside the country, and disinfection of the infected premises are the control measures undertaken by the Nigerian Authorities so far.
The OIE/FAO r efe rence laboratory for Avian Influenza in Padova ( Italy ) has characterized the isolate as a highly pathogenic H5N1 and has further analysed its genetic composition. Investigations are being carried out in order to define the degree of genetic homology with the currently known H5N1 strains.
The OIE, together with the FAO, will take immediate action and coordinate a common response to this event. A team of experts will be sent to the affected area in order to assess the situation and provide technical advice to the national Authorities.
The OIE will be updating regularly the evolution of this situation.