Reports last month that H5N1 avian influenza had been detected in poultry in Africa and elsewhere heightened concerns about the threat the virus poses to human and animal health.
As of mid-February, the H5N1 virus had been detected on farms in three states in Nigeria and another five states had suspected cases, according to news reports. Authorities were also investigating several suspected human cases.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Jong-Wook Lee warned that in Africa, where many individuals are infected with HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and other infections, “we simply do not know what the impact of exposure to avian influenza will be on the many people who may be already immunocompromised and in a fragile state of health.”
Stephenson J. Bird Flu Expands Range. JAMA. 2006;295(11):1239. doi:10.1001/jama.295.11.1239-a