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Cablegate: Nigeria: New Ai Outbreak Confirmed

VZCZCXRO0375
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #1487/01 2131245
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311245Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3521
INFO RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS PRIORITY 9687
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0348
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 001487

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

USDA FOR FAS RON VERDONK, PATRICK PACKNETT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KFLU EAGR EAID ECON NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: NEW AI OUTBREAK CONFIRMED

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: New outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian
influenza (HPAI) were confirmed in Northern Nigeria on July 24. Lab
results on a potential human AI case were negative and the patient
is recovering from seasonal flu-like symptoms. The GON has under
taken preliminary surveillance, depopulation and decontamination of
the affected farms and on-going monitoring actions continue to
control the AI outbreak. Laboratory results indicate that the virus
is not the subtype that caused the outbreaks in 2006 and 2007. So
far no new outbreaks have been detected since July 24. The quick
and thorough procedures taken by the GON during this AI outbreak
demonstrate that the substantial USG technical assistance, training
and resources devoted to AI in Nigeria have had a positive effect on
the GON's capability to respond and handle an outbreak. End
Summary.

New AI Outbreak
---------------

2. (SBU) On July 24 new outbreaks of HPAI were confirmed in a small
commercial poultry farm in Kano state and a backyard farm in Katsina
state. This was the first report of an AI outbreak since October
2007 when cases were reported in Anambra State. Previously on June
27, during the GON's regularly conducted targeted surveillance in
live bird markets in the 11 previously non-infected states, a duck
tested positive for AI in Gombe (Gombe state) and a chicken tested
positive on July 19 in Birin Kebbi city (Kebbi state). Experts
contend that these results indicate that there is possible
re-introduction of AI in the country. On July 24, the Federal
Department of Livestock issued a press statement informing the
public that they will do everything possible, in collaboration with
development partners, to control AI in birds and prevent its
transmission to humans.

Report of Potential Human AI Case
---------------------------------

3. (SBU) Report of suspected human case emerged when a 25 year old
male who worked on the affected farm in Kano visited the hospital
complaining of a sore throat and mild difficulty in breathing. He
was prophylactically placed on osetalmimivir while awaiting the
results of laboratory samples which were collected and sent to the
Human Health AI lab in Asokoro. On July 25 the results for HPAI
were negative. Currently the patient has recovered sufficiently
from what appears to be seasonal flu-like symptoms and has been
discharged from the hospital. Follow up on all exposed persons on
the affected farms and neighborhood is ongoing.

GON Responds
------------

4. (SBU) Contacts report that the GON has taken the following
measures to control the outbreak:
-- Preliminary surveillance at the affected locations;
-- Modified stamping out through depopulation and decontamination of
the affected farms at Kano and Katsina;
-- Intensification of monitoring and decontamination;
-- Expansion of surveillance centers to cover additional sites for
the on-going wild bird surveillance program. The surveillance is
being conducted by National Animal Disease Information and
Surveillance (NADIS) with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
support.
-- Intensification of public information campaigns by NADIS with
financial assistance provided by African Development Bank (ADB)
through African Union- Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources
(AU-IBAR).

5. (SBU) Four GON Special Diagnostic Teams (SDT) were activated to
carry out detailed epidemiological investigation at the various
affected locations in Gombe, Kebbi, Kano and Katsina, including
forward and backward tracing to identify the sources of outbreak.
The GON Avian Influenza Control Project reports that mortality on
the Kano farm commenced 2 weeks following the introduction of 4
ducks purchased from hawkers (two of which died) and that the
outbreak involving the backyard farm in Katsina may be related to
the introduction of guinea fowls purchased from Charanchi market.
Over 424 samples have been collected including carcasses and sent to
National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) lab for analysis.
Samples were also sent to the World Reference Library in Padova,
Italy for detailed analysis including virus characterization and
sequencing.

6. (SBU) The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has been
notified of the two events through the regular on-line "Immediate
Notification" reporting channel known as the World Animal Health
Information System (WAHIS). The information is thus accessible
globally through the OIE web site.


ABUJA 00001487 002 OF 002


7. (SBU) Results so far obtained indicate that the virus is a new
introduction into the country and not the subtype that caused the
outbreaks in 2006 and 2007 in the country. The current virus is
related to a different clad that is found in Europe, which makes it
likely that it might have been introduced by migratory birds
considering the location where the first positive sample was found.
(Comment: This is therefore an indication that USG/GON control
strategies are working and USG/GON surveillance network is vigilant
enough to have detected this newly introduced strain of the virus
soon after it came into the country. End Comment).

8. (SBU) Comment: So far no new outbreak or positive sample from
surveillance has been detected since July 24. The quick and
thorough procedures taken by the GON during this AI outbreak
demonstrate that the substantial USG technical assistance, training
and resources devoted to AI in Nigeria have had positive effect on
the GON's capability to respond and handle an outbreak. End
Comment.

SANDERS

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