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Bird flu: Centre asks all states to be prepared for any eventuality

Bird flu 1
Health experts visit a bird flu affected area in Kerala (PTI photo)

NEW DELHI, January 7: The Centre on Thursday said bird flu has been confirmed only in Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh so far, but all states should be prepared for any eventuality.


States have been told to ensure sufficient stock of PPE kits and accessories required for culling operations. They have also been asked to create awareness among public that it is safe to consume poultry products after following boiling/cooking procedures.
The secretary in the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying held a meeting with the states to understand the status of the outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu) and to suggest measures for control, containment and prevention of spread of the disease, an official statement said.
An unusual mortality of poultry, crows, migratory birds has been reported from Kerala, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
“So far, the disease has been confirmed only from four states (Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh). Culling operations are underway in the affected districts of Kerala,” the statement said.
In the meeting, it was emphasized that besides increasing surveillance around water bodies, live bird markets, zoos, poultry farms, etc. proper disposal of carcass and strengthening of biosecurity in poultry farms should be ensured.
“States were requested to be prepared for any eventuality of avian influenza and were requested to ensure sufficient stock of PPE kits and accessories required for culling operations,” the statement said.
Besides ensuring collection of representative samples and timely submission to the designated laboratories (RDDLs/CDDL/ICAR-NIHSAD), the Centre has asked state animal husbandry departments to ensure effective communication and coordination with health authorities for close vigilance on the outbreak and avoid any chances of jumping of the disease into humans.
Effective coordination with the state forest departments was also emphasized for immediate reporting of any unusual mortalities in non-domestic birds in forest areas and around water bodies.
The Centre has already issued advisories to the affected states regarding increasing and intensifying surveillance for unusual mortality of birds including wild / migratory birds.
It has also established a central control room to strategize, co- ordinate and facilitate state governments with regard to outbreak management, disease control and containment.
Moreover, two central teams have been deployed to visit the affected states of Kerala, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh for monitoring and for epidemiological investigation.
That apart, the department along with secretary, National Disaster Management Authority held a meeting with all states’ officials of the health department, animal husbandry department and state disaster management authorities to take stock of preparedness and to advise on intensive surveillance in affected areas.


“Awareness among poultry farmers and the general public (consumers of eggs and chicken) about the disease is of foremost importance. So states have been asked to quell consumer reactions, affected by rumours and increase awareness regarding safety of poultry or poultry products that were safe for consumption following boiling / cooking procedures,” the statement said. (PTI)

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