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Bird flu resurfaces in Kano, Nigeria

The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has resurfaced in the city of Kano, northern Nigeria's commercial capital, according to veterinary officials.

Shehu Bawa, the head of Kano State's avian flu committee, has stated that in the last two months it has been confirmed that at least seven poultry farms in the city have been tested positive for bird flu, resulting in the culling of about 10,000 birds.

Katsina and Sokoto, two northern states, have recorded outbreaks of a disease suspected to be avian influenza. Laboratory tests are still being conducted at the national Veterinary Research Institute in central city of Jos for confirmation.

Kano was worst affected by the bird flu outbreak since the disease was first detected on a farm in Jaji in February 2006.

According to Nigeria's Department of Veterinary Research, since the bird flu outbreak began in February last year, a total of 945,862 birds have been lost, of which 602,160 were culled.

Bawa blamed migratory birds from Europe for the outbreak in Nigeria, adding that as long as the movement of these birds was not checked there would be a recurrence every year, although improved bio-security measures by farmers helped in minimising its spread.

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