Nigeria was the first African country to declare an outbreak of HPAI H5N1. The first outbreak was reported on 8 February 2006 and 61 outbreaks were reported in 2006 and 2007. Most of the outbreaks occurred in the central north part of the country. A reoccurrence of the disease was reported on 25 July 2008. HPAI H5N1 strains from at least three different genetic groups have been isolated in Nigeria, suggesting several introductions in the country.
An epidemiological survey of the influenza virus in wild birds has been conducted in Nigeria, in February 2007, in the framework of the Technical Cooperation Programmes (TCP) of FAO (Surveillance and prevention of HPAI, FAO TCP ). Objectives were to evaluate the Avian Influenza prevalence, in particular highly pathogenic strains, among wild bird populations, including both migratory and resident bird species; and to provide technical support to the national surveillance programme through capacity building of national counterparts on sampling techniques. A satellite tracking program was also implemented in the framework of the Technical Cooperation Programmes (TCP) of FAO ( Surveillance and prevention of HPAI, FAO TCP), in order to improve our understanding of waterbird movements, in relation to the potential role that they may play in the transmission of avian diseases, such as avian influenza (http://wildbirds-ai.cirad.fr ).
Nigeria is also part of the Wild Bird Global Avian Influenza Network for Surveillance (GAINS) program. The aim of GAINS is to expand operational field capabilities, improve the understanding of viral strains and transmission of influenza viruses in wild birds, and to disseminate information to all levels of governments, international organizations, the private sector and the general public (http://www.gains.org ).
This country is part of the EPIAAF
surveillance project on epidemiology and evaluation of HPAI risk factors in Africa.
Within this project the following activities will be undertaken in Nigeria :