January 29, 2015 / 11:40 AM / 3 years ago

Nigeria H5N1 bird flu spreads to four more states, total 11

ABUJA, Nigeria (Reuters) - An outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in Nigerian poultry farms has spread to four more states, raising the total of affected areas to 11, the agricultural and rural development minister said on Thursday.

A man selling live chickens waits for customers in a local food market in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos in this file photo taken on December 30, 2011. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Africa’s most populous country and biggest economy was the first country on the continent to detect bird flu, in 2006 when chicken farms were found to have the H5N1 strain. In 2007, Nigeria recorded its first human death from the disease.

“At the time of my briefing the nation on January 21, 2015, seven states had reported cases of the bird flu. As of yesterday, a total of 11 states have reported positive cases,” Minister Akinwumi Adesina said at an emergency meeting with state agricultural commissioners in the capital Abuja.

The latest bird flu outbreak was first reported in mid-January in the states of Kano and Lagos. The worst-hit state is Kano in the north where 136,905 birds were exposed with a 13 percent mortality rate.

The other affected states are Ogun, Rivers, Delta, Edo, Plateau, Gombe, Imo, Oyo and Jigawa.

Adesina said the government planned to compensate farmers with 145 million naira ($763,150), or about 1,450 naira ($7.63) per lost bird, within the next three days.

Reporting By Felix Onuah; Writing by Julia Payne; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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