Kaduna state, in North-Central Nigeria, has become the 12th state to be affected by H5N1 avian influenza, according to a Nigerian Bulletin thread.

Nigeria map/CIA

A poultry farm in the Mando area was hit with the highly pathogenic bird flu.

Kaduna’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Joseph Thot said measures to prevent the disease from spreading are in place.

Poultry farmers have been advised to be on the look out for a “sudden and unprecedented death of birds” and to report it immediately to authorities.

Kaduna joins 11 other states having been affected by the bird flu-Kano, Lagos, Ogun, Rivers, Delta, Edo, Plateau, Gombe, Imo, Oyo and Jigawa

Avian influenza viruses are highly contagious, extremely variable viruses that are widespread in birds, particularly wild waterfowl and shorebirds. Most of these viruses, which are usually carried asymptomatically by wild birds, cause only mild disease in poultry. Others, the high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) viruses, can kill up to 90-100% of a poultry flock. Epidemics of high pathogenicity avian influenza can spread rapidly, devastate the poultry industry and result in severe trade restrictions.