US embassy cable - 06LAGOS175

WIDESPREAD BIRD DEATHS SPARK AVIAN FLU WORRIES

Identifier: 06LAGOS175
Wikileaks: View 06LAGOS175 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Lagos
Created: 2006-02-07 17:53:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: AMED AMGT EAGR KFLU NI TBIO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS LAGOS 000175 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE PASS OES/S 
USDA PASS FAS/ITP 
USDA PASS APHIS 
USDA PASS ICD 
USDA PASS FAS/FAA FOR RANDY HAGER 
USDA FOR CMP 
USDA PASS OA 
EMBASSY ROME PASS US MISSION FOR UN, UNMI ROME 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: AMED, AMGT, EAGR, KFLU, NI, TBIO 
SUBJECT: WIDESPREAD BIRD DEATHS SPARK AVIAN FLU WORRIES 
 
REF: ABUJA 289 
 
1.  (SBU)  Ag Attache spoke with the Agriculture Ministry's 
Chief Vet Officer (CVO), who reported widespread poultry 
deaths in mid-January at a farm in Kaduna State owned by the 
Nigerian Minister of Sports.  The farm lost its entire flock 
of 46,000 chickens.  Samples from this farm were sent to the 
National Vet Research Institute (NVRI) in Jos, Plateau State, 
for analysis.  The laboratory suspected the presence of avian 
influenza (AI), but was not equipped to identify which 
strain.  The NVRI lab also detected the possible presence of 
other diseases, including cholera and the coronary 
respiratory disease.  On 2 February, the sample was sent to 
the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reference 
laboratory in Rome for further analysis.  (Note: There is no 
laboratory in Nigeria capable of detecting the H5N1 strain of 
AI.  End note.) 
 
2.  (SBU)  The CVO office also sent a team to Zaria to 
investigate the deaths, and they traced some of the birds to 
Kano.  The team then visited several farms in Kano, and found 
two poultry farms with high mortality rates as well. 
According the CVO, both the farm in Zaria and the two farms 
in Kano have fundamentally deficient animal health management 
practices which lead to serious health problems; the farms 
have no vets and no vaccination records, birds are sourced 
from multiple locations, and birds of different ages and from 
different flocks are commingled. 
 
3.  (SBU)  In a later conversation with Ag Attache, the 
Nigerian CVO could not discount the possibility the bird 
deaths were due to H5N1.  The CVO, who has apparently been in 
touch with FAO, told us the lab results should be ready 
tomorrow, 8 February.  Mission will continue to monitor 
events closely. 
BROWNE 

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