US embassy cable - 06LAGOS184

AVIAN FLU SITREP 1

Identifier: 06LAGOS184
Wikileaks: View 06LAGOS184 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Lagos
Created: 2006-02-08 18:43:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: AMED AMGT EAGR KFLU TBIO NI
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 SECTION 01 OF 02 LAGOS 000184 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - HANDLE ACCORDINGLY 
 
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 
USDA PASS TO FAS/DLP 
STATE FOR DS/IP/AF, AF/EX, DS/IP/OPO, DS/ICI/PII, DS/DSS/ITA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: AMED, AMGT, EAGR, KFLU, TBIO, NI 
SUBJECT: AVIAN FLU SITREP 1 
 
REF: A. LAGOS 175 
     B. ABUJA 289 
 
1.  (U)  This is an action request.  See paragraph six. 
 
H5N1 STRAIN OF AVIAN FLU CONFIRMED IN NIGERIA 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
2.  (SBU)  In a conversation with the Ag Attache, a source in 
the Agriculture Ministry said the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture 
Office (FAO) reference lab analysis of poultry samples from 
Kaduna State came back positive for the H5N1 strain of avian 
influenza (AI).  The Ministry of Agriculture held a press 
conference today to inform the public.  USDA APHIS (Dakar) 
informs us a team from U.N. agencies FAO and the World Health 
Organization (WHO) is en route to Nigeria to support the 
GON's efforts to investigate AI. 
 
FIRST POULTRY DEATHS REPORTED THREE WEEKS AGO 
IN REGIONAL TRADE HUB KANO 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
3.  (SBU)  Approximately three weeks have elapsed since the 
deaths of the flocks that tested positive for H5N1 in 
Nigeria.  Per Reftel A, the poultry deaths first occurred in 
Kaduna from poultry originating in Kano.  Kano is the 
commercial hub of northern Nigeria, with extensive trade -- 
movement of people, animals and goods -- throughout Nigeria 
and other parts of West Africa.  Given the lack of 
surveillance infrastructure in Nigeria and the time lag 
between the poultry deaths and the FAO analysis, it is 
possible that the disease has spread during these three 
weeks. 
 
4.  (SBU)  Although the initial confirmation of H5N1 occurred 
in Kaduna, poultry production in Nigeria is concentrated in 
southwest states, mostly Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, and Ondo 
States.  As with the farm in Kaduna, most farms in the 
southwest also have substandard health infrastructures. 
 
EAC CONVENES; POST ACTIONS 
-------------------------- 
 
5.  (SBU)  AmConsul Lagos EAC convened this morning, and will 
re-convene 9 February.  During the EAC there was significant 
discussion of a possible request for voluntary authorized 
departure status for non-essential personnel and dependents. 
Mission will conduct additional discussions with Washington 
on this point.  The EAC notes H5N1 has been present in 
Nigeria for at least 3 weeks.  Post underscores that while 
the GON confirmed the presence of H5N1 in Nigeria today, 
Mission in fact passed tripwire 1.5 (Reftel B) nearly a month 
ago.  The EAC has decided to implement the following steps: 
 
a.  Post has prepared a Missionwide warden message for 
dissemination after the GON's announcement of the presence of 
H5N1 AI in Nigeria. 
 
b.  Post plans to hold a town hall meeting for all American 
employees, to alert our staff to the confirmation of H5N1 in 
Nigeria, and to explain preventative measures to avoid 
transmission of illness. 
 
c.  Regional Med Officer is preparing a health packet with 
information regarding the H5N1 strain of AI, measures to 
avoid transmission of flu, and guidance on avoiding 
consumption of poultry and poultry products, for 
dissemination to mission members, the American school, 
AMCITs, and other interested parties. 
 
d.  Mission will work with the GON's Ministries of 
Agriculture and Health to facilitate official GON requests 
for USG assistance to assist in combating H5N1 AI. 
 
ACTION REQUESTS FOR WASHINGTON AGENCIES 
--------------------------------------- 
6.  (SBU)  Mission requests the following assistance from USG 
agencies: 
a.  USDA dispatch a team of experts to Nigeria to provide 
technical assistance to the GON in efforts to control the 
spread of AI within animal populations.  The GON currently 
has no/no capacity to detect highly pathogenic AI in animals. 
 The Minister of Agriculture official expressed strong need 
for surveillance and laboratory equipment, AI sampling kits, 
protective gear, and all related supplies. 
 
b.  CDC should be prepared to send, on the request of the 
GON, a team to assist in detection, surveillance and 
monitoring of possible human AI cases.  The GON has no/no 
capacity to detect highly pathogenic AI in humans. 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
7.  (SBU)  The GON is not well prepared to confront an 
outbreak of AI.  We do not know how far H5N1 AI has spread 
within the poultry industry or wild birds in Nigeria.  At 
this point, it is undetermined whether there have been any 
cases of H5N1 in humans in Nigeria. 
 
8.  (U)  This cable was cleared by Embassy Abuja. 
BROWNE 

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