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Avian flu spreads to north-eastern states

New Delhi, Wed, 09 Apr 2008 NI Wire

With the confirmation of avian-influenza in Tripura, the department of animal husbandry has begun culling chickens in bird flu hit areas of the state. The Centre has also sent a team of experts to other north-eastern regions like Assam and Meghalaya to take stock of the ground situation.

The State Animal Resources Development Department on Monday had notified outbreak of avian influenza in poultry in the Village: Mohanpur (Block Salema), district Dhalai of Tripura.

The Central Rapid Response Team has been sent to the state with 500 Personal Protective Equipments, 200 N-95 masks, 5000 capsules of Tami flu and 2 ventilators to prevent further spread of the H5N1 avian flu virus.

As per reports the culling operations in Dhalai district of Tripura began from Tuesday will continue for the next couple of days with set target of killing over 25,000 birds. Mohanpur and seven village panchayat areas of Kamalpur sub-division of the district are on the surveillance line where about 3,000 chickens died of influenza during the past fortnight.

Earlier on April 04, the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries has informed outbreak of H5N1 virus in Nadia and Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal following which culling operation was being carried out with active house-to-house surveillance.

Following the outbreak of bird flu in West Bengal in January this year, the avian fear has hit the news from early this year as the government particularly West Bengal has so far been failed to contain the spread to other parts.

In January, in one of the worst outbreak of bird flu the H5N1 virus affected almost 13 of the 19 districts of West Bengal and nearly 4 million birds were culled by the authorities.

Despite repeated warning from World Health Organisation (WHO) and UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), India has been a continuous hit zone in the absence of proper mechanism to restrain this influenza pandemic.

According to WHO report, since the year 2003 bird flu has killed 239 people in 14 countries out of the 379 human affected cases confirmed in the laboratory globally. However, India is not included in the list of countries with human death cases, but such continuous outbreak in a particular region can lead to any extent.

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