Studies of some risk factors for re-introduction and spread of highly-pathogenic avian influenza in two states of Nigeria
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) occurred in Nigeria about seven years ago affecting a wide range of avian species and human. HPAI being a major emerging zoonosis and a devastating disease of birds occupies the topmost position in the World Organisation for Animal Health list A poultry diseases . It requires emergency responses to speedily detect and control outbreaks, avoid spread and prevent future reoccurrence. Risk assessment links disease ecology with farmer's attitudes and practices in the agent-host environment relationship. As an example, a qualitative risk assessment was conducted on poultry farmer-risk practices for the introduction and spread of HPAI in two north eastern States of Nigeria. High risk based poultry management and marketing procedures, inadequate poultry housing were areas of major concern in these states. Future high risk of AI reintroduction and spread still existed, early detection enabling prompt implementation of control strategies where given undue attention. Recent global advances in AI control strategies could only be of value with early outbreak detection. Farmers must change attitudes towards adapting biosecurity measures, improvement in early detection skills would assist preparedness in the efforts to rapidly detect and act against future HPAI outbreak in Nigeria.
Key words: Risk factors, avian influenza, spread, Nigeria