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Eleven People Tested for Suspected Bird Flu in Lagos


Nigerian health authorities say they are testing nearly a dozen people in Lagos for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu. This after they developed what experts say may be symptoms of the disease. VOA English to Africa Service reporter Chinedu Offor has the story:

“According to the director of special duties in the Nigerian Ministry of Health…tissues obtained from 11 people in the commercial city of Lagos are being tested for the H5N1strain of bird flu. He says the samples were collected from persons who had contact with a 22-year old woman who died of the disease two months ago. The unidentified woman, who was confirmed the country’s first human case of the disease, died after slaughtering a chicken without (wearing) gloves or a mask.”

Offor reports the ministry says it expects more cases of the disease and warns “people to take special precautions while handling or slaughtering birds.

“Meanwhile, the United Nations coordinator for the Global Fight against Avian Influenza, Dr. David Nabarro, says Nigeria will likely experience more bird flu outbreaks because of migrating birds. The Nigerian Medical Association says the country is not prepared to handle an outbreak of the disease. The organization says more efforts should be made to education the public on the dangers of the H5N1 strain.”