New bird flu strain detected in Nigeria

New bird flu strain detected in Nigeria

11/08/2008

A strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza previously not recorded in sub-Saharan Africa has been detected in Nigeria for the first time, FAO said today. Nigeria has recently reported two new Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreaks in the states of Katsina and Kano.

Laboratory results from Nigeria and an FAO reference laboratory in Italy show that the newly discovered virus strain (H5N1, clade 2, EMA3) is genetically different from the strains that circulated in Nigeria during earlier outbreaks in 2006 and 2007.

The new strain has never been reported before in Africa; it is more similar to strains previously identified in Europe (Italy), Asia (Afghanistan) and the Middle East (Iran) in 2007.