Bird flu: Government confirms cases in five states; other states increase surveillance | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying on Wednesday confirmed avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, cases have been reported from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala.
Meanwhile, other states sharing borders with the affected states have stepped up surviellance.
Centre has issued advisories to the state governments to follow guidelines of the National Action Plan of Avian Influenza.
The ministry also informed that it has set up a control room in New Delhi to keep watch on the situation and to take stock on a daily basis of preventive and control measures undertaken by state authorities.

Himachal Pradesh
With over 2,400 birds dead so far in Himachal Pradesh, the state has been put on high alert for avian influenza.
The State Animal Husbandry Department has sounded a 10-km alert zone where no sale of eggs is allowed and poultry markets have been shut.
Forest officials first noticed the bird deaths in December end. In a letter dated December 31, state authorities reported 141 winter migratory birds dead.
Winter migratory birds including bar-headed goose along with river tern, brown-headed gull, and cormorants were first found dead in and around the Pong Dam Sanctuary area.

Kerala
In Kerala, bird flu is reported in poultry-duck in Kottayam and Allapuzha districts.
As many as 12,000 ducks have died and 40,000 birds will be culled, said Kerala minister for forest, animal husbandry and dairy development K Raju on Tuesday.
Kerala government has declared bird flu as a state-specific disaster and a high alert has been issued in Kottayam and Alappuzha districts.
The H5N5 strain of the virus which is considered more dangerous was earlier identified in the state in 2014.
It may be recalled two major outbreaks of bird flu had affected duck farming in Alappuzha and Kottayam districts in 2014 and 2016. While 3 lakh birds were culled in 2014. in 2016 7 lakh birds had to be culled.

Health workers set fire after culling ducks, Kerala (Credits: AP)

Rajasthan
In Rajasthan, bird flu has been reported in crows in Baran, Kota and Jhalawar districts.
Secretary of animal husbandry department Arushi Malik said 625 birds have been reported dead in 16 of the 33 districts of Rajasthan.
As many as 122 samples have been sent to a laboratory in Bhopal.
Chairing a review meeting of the animal husbandry department, chief minister Ashok Gehlot told officials to focus on monitoring Keoladeo National Park, other sanctuaries, Sambhar lake and in all such places where birds flock.
Gehlot also appealed to the public to inform control rooms set up by the animal husbandry department if they see any dead bird near their houses.
Madhya Pradesh
In Madhya Pradesh, crow deaths were reported in Mandsaur, Indore and Malwa districts.
Since December, about 400 avian deaths have been reported across 10 districts of Madhya Pradesh.
The first cases of bird flu in the state were detected a week back with the death of 155 crows in Indore.
Apart from Mandsaur, Indore and Malwa districts, samples of dead avians were collected from Ujjain, Sehore, Dewas, Guna, Shajapur, Khargone and Neemuch districts and sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal for testing.
The state government has said that eating well-cooked chicken and egg is not a threat to human health.
The bird flu virus has not been found in roosters yet. No cases have been reported yet in Maharashtra, which shares borders with Madhya Pradesh.
Haryana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Punjab step up surveillance
Karnataka and Tamil Nadu stepped up surveillance and formed guidelines following the outbreak of the viral infection in neighbouring Kerala.
On Wednesday, Karnataka blocked the entry of poultry and other birds from Kerala.
Authorities in Punjab have also alerted officials to keep tabs on any unusual deaths of migratory and poultry birds in the state, officials said on Wednesday. No case of bird flu has been reported so far in Punjab.
In Haryana, over four lakh poultry birds have died at farms in Panchkula district in the past 10 days, officials said, adding a team from Jalandhar’s Regional Disease Diagnosis Laboratory (RDDL) has collected samples.
There are no confirmed reports of avian influenza till now, an RDDL spokesperson said.
What is Bird Flu? How does it spread in India?
Bird flu also called avian influenza, is a viral disease which is contagious and can spread from one bird to other birds and animals.
Most forms of the virus are restricted to birds. H5N1 is the most common form of bird flu. Infection in humans is not yet reported in India though the disease is zoonotic.
Notably, bird flu viruses have been circulating worldwide for centuries with four known major outbreaks recorded in the last century.
India notified the first outbreak of avian influenza in 2006.
There is no direct evidence that the virus can transfer into the human body through consumption.
In India, the disease spreads mainly by migratory birds coming into India during winter months i.e. from September – October to February – March.
The secondary spread by human handling (through fomites) cannot be ruled out, said the ministry said.
(With inputs from agencies)

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