New Delhi, January 8: In the wake of mortality of poultry, crows, migratory birds reported from the states of Kerala, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh, the Centre held a meeting with the states to understand the status of the outbreak of avian influenza and to suggest measures to states/UTs for control and prevent spread of the disease.
Besides ensuring collection of representative samples and timely submission to the designated laboratories (RDDLs/CDDL/ICAR-NIHSAD), the Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India requested State Animal Husbandry departments to ensure effective communication and coordination with health authorities for close vigilance of the disease status 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, an official release said.
The department along with Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) also held a meeting today with all states' officials of the Health Department, Animal Husbandry Departments, and State Disaster Management Authorities to take stock of preparedness and to advise on intensive surveillance in affected areas.
A multidisciplinary central delegation reached Kerala on Thursday morning and held discussions with Alappuzha district collector A Alexander on the steps to be taken to contain the spread of avian influenza or the bird flu. The team will visit the affected area of Kottayam tomorrow.
A total of 50,935 birds have been killed in Kerala. Out of these, 43,206 were from Alappuzha district and 7,729 birds were from Kottayam district.
A total of eight districts including Indore, Neemuch, Khargone, Guna, Mandsaur, Agar, Dewas, and Khandwa have reported confirmed cases of bird flu in Madhya Pradesh, an official said.
Madhya Pradesh government has banned chicken trade with southern states for the next 10 days.
Maharashtra Animal Husbandry Minister Sunil Kedar said that the state government has issued a red alert in the state and asked the district officials to keep a strict vigil.
"We are on alert as avian influenza has caused deaths of hundreds of birds in states of Kerala, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh. Around 10-12 birds had died in Thane, samples of carcasses have tested negative for bird flu," he said.
The Government of Jammu and Kashmir imposed a complete ban on import of live birds, including poultry meat, for any purpose into the Union Territory with immediate effect, till January 14.
Six crows were found dead in Mothrowala and near the office of SSP Dehradun. Dr KK Joshi, Director, Uttarakhand Animal Husbandry Department said that carcasses has been sent for testing.
Uttarakhand Animal Husbandry Department has also set up a control room (toll-free number 18001208862) as cases of bird flu were detected in Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kerala.
In Karnataka, six crows died in Dakshina Kannada district. State Health Minister Dr K Sudhakarsa said that samples were sent for testing. Precautionary measures have been taken in border districts to prevent bird flu, he added.
The Punjab Government has sounded an alert and pulled all stops to keep the state safe from the possible effect of the outbreak in its neighbouring states.
Chhattisgarh government in a statement said that no case of bird flu has been detected in Chhattisgarh so far.
Odisha Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra reviewed the possible bird flu scenario and announced that till today there has been no outbreak of the disease in the state.
As per the State Government, around 11,000 samples from different areas have been tested and no case has been found positive for bird flu.
Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Giriraj Singh said migratory birds are the reason behind the spread of bird flu in the country.
Avian influenza (AI) 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.
According to the Ministry of Environment, infection in humans is not yet reported in India though the disease is zoonotic.
There is no direct evidence that AI viruses can be transmitted to humans via the consumption of contaminated poultry products.