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Health Alert: Outbreak of Avian Influenza in Niamey, Niger (February 11, 2022)
February 11, 2022

February 11, 2022

Location: Niamey, Niger

Event: Outbreak of Avian Influenza in Niamey

Niger health officials have identified an outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu) in Niamey. Per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), avian influenza, also called bird flu, is caused by a virus that infects birds such as chickens, turkeys, geese, pigeons, and pheasants. The virus is found in an infected bird’s feces as well as fluids from the bird’s eyes, nose, or mouth.

Bird flu does not usually infect people, however, there are a few ways you can get infected. A person can be infected with bird flu if they:

  • Touch their eyes, nose, or mouth after working with infected live or dead birds.
  • Touch their eyes, nose, or mouth after visiting places where infected birds have lived.
  • Breathe in droplets or dust contaminated with the virus.
  • Have close contact with a person already sick with the disease, though this is rare.

Symptoms of bird flu range from mild eye infections to a flu-like illness. In severe cases, bird flu can cause pneumonia and death.

To date, no human cases of avian influenza have been reported in Niamey, but some commercial flocks have been affected.

How to Prevent Exposure

Avian Influenza is not transmissible by eating properly prepared and cooked poultry and eggs. It is recommended that you:

  • Avoid any contact with sick or dead birds.
  • Wash hands for 20 seconds before and after handling eggs and poultry products.
  • Cook eggs completely (USDA recommends 160F/71C), consider avoiding locally sourced eggs.
  • Cook all chicken completely (USDA recommends 160F/71c), consider avoiding locally sourced chicken.
  • Use separate cutting boards, knives and counter space for raw poultry or eggs, wash all these items thoroughly with hot soapy water after use.

Symptoms of Avian Influenza- Similar to seasonal flu or COVID-19

  • Fever/Chills
  • Cough/respiratory congestion
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat

What to do if you are sick:

  • Take medicine for fever.
  • Hydrate and rest.
  • Stay home from work, wear a mask when around other people.
  • Seek medical care.

See the CDC web site for more information.