Govt say don’t panic: Bird flu confirmed in 10 states

The Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) has been confirmed from 10 states of the country until now.

Bird flu infection has been found in around 2500 chickens of the Kadaknath breed at a poultry farm in Madhya Pradesh's Jhabua district. The chickens were supposed to be bought by former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni for his farm. "The National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) Bhopal has confirmed the presence of H5N1 virus in the samples of Kadaknath chickens," said Veterinary Department director Dr RK Rokde in an official letter. The Jhabua collector said that an area of the one-kilometre radius will be considered as 'infected zone' and all kinds of livestock will be culled to prevent the spread of avian flu. Up to nine kilometres of the area will be treated as 'surveillance zone' from where samples will be collected. Bird-flu cases have been detected in Indore, Mandsaur, Agar, Neemuch, Dewas, Ujjain, Khandwa, Khargone, Guna, Shivpuri, Rajgarh, Shajapur, Vidisha, Bhopal, Hoshangabad, Ashoknagar, Datia and Barwani districts so far.

The Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) has been confirmed from 10 states of the country until now. These states are: Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra. ICAR- NIHSAD has confirmed the death of crows & migratory/wild birds in Tonk, Karauli, Bhilwara districts of Rajasthan; and Valsad, Vadodara, and Surat districts of Gujarat. “Deaths of crows have been confirmed in Kotdwar and Dehradun districts of Uttarakhand. In Delhi, crows and ducks were reported dead in New Delhi and Sanjay Lake areas,” it added.

The outbreak of Avian influenza found in Parbhani district, while it is confirmed in crows from Mumbai, Thane, Dapoli,  Beed in Maharashtra. Delhi’s Animal Husbandry Department stated that Bird flu has been confirmed in the national capital after eight samples were tested positive from dead crows and ducks. Around 104 samples were sent to Bhopal and Jalandhar labs for testing to find out whether avian influenza was the cause of the bird deaths. The Sanjay Lake in the national capital was declared “alert zone” after 17 ducks were found dead at the site. The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has already shut the water body-cum-park. Three other recreational parks — HauzKhas Park, Dwarka Sector 9 Park, Hastsal Park – in Delhi have been closed. About 30 crows were found dead at Navli village in Etawah Uttar Pradesh.

The parliamentary committee on agriculture will be holding a meeting on the evidence of representatives of the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandary & Dairying in connection with the examination of the subject ‘Status of Veterinary Services and Availability of Animal Vaccine in the Country’. The Centre, besides giving a report of bird flu in India, has been asking States/UTs to increase awareness regarding the safety of poultry or poultry products for consumption following boiling and cooking procedures.

Chaturvedi, the secretary of the Union government’s department of animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries said, “The outbreaks usually happen in winter months, starting from September-October till February-March. Unnecessary panic need not be created about avian influenza — a common phenomenon in India. Some years, the bird mortalities are more and in others less. Every year, India gets the disease because of bird migrations and is declared bird flu -free subsequently after the outbreak is over.” He also added, “In the history of bird flu in India over the last 15 years since 2006, not a single instance has been reported when the infection was passed on to humans. Human to human transmission is even more remote.” There was also no requirement for banning import of poultry products from affected states, which some states were doing, because infected poultry was being culled and not allowed to move out of the infected zone. “There should be no apprehension about consumption of poultry products if they are cooked properly,” he said.


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