Health Ministry deploys Central teams to Avian Influenza-affected districts in Kerala, Haryana
IANS (File photo)

Health Ministry deploys Central teams to Avian Influenza-affected districts in Kerala, Haryana

New Delhi, January 6, 2021

The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has deployed multi-disciplinary teams to avian influenza-affected Alappuzha and Kottayam districts in Kerala, and Panchkula district in Haryana.

The Department of Animal Husbandry on January 4 notified detection of avian influenza (H5N8) in samples of dead ducks from Alappuzha and Kottayam districts in Kerala. Similar reports of avian influenza have also been received from poultry samples from Panchkula.

The two multi-disciplinary teams comprising experts from the National Centre for Disease Control, National Institute of Virology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi and Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi have been deployed to the affected districts by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on January 4 to assist the State Health Departments in the implementation of its avian influenza containment plan.

Additionally, a high level team comprising Director, NCDC and Joint Secretary & COVID-19 nodal officer, Ministry of Food Processing Industries has been deployed to Kerala today to oversee the implementation of avian influenza containment operations and guide State Health Departments in mounting appropriate public health interventions for the same.

In addition, this high level team will also review the COVID-19 situation in the State, an official press release said.

Similar reports of avian influenza have also been reported from Jhalawar, Rajasthan and Bhind, Madhya Pradesh involving crows and migratory birds.

The Department of Animal Husbandry, as per laid down protocol, has issued alerts to further intensify surveillance to detect any case in poultry birds.

"So far, no human case of avian influenza has been reported. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare continues to keep a strict watch over the evolving scenario," the release added.

Meanwhile, the Centre has set up a control room in Krishi Bhavan here with telephone number 011-23382354 in the Department of Animal Husbandry to strategise, coordinate and facilitate the response to the outbreak.

In India, the disease spreads mainly through migratory birds coming into India during winter months, that is from September-October to February-March. The secondary spread by human handling (through fomites) cannot be ruled out, the release said.

In Kerala, the authorities have deployed five teams to the villages of Thalavady South, Thakazhi, Pallipad, Karuvatta indistrict of Alappuzha and eight teams in the village of Neendoor in the district of Kottayam for culling of birds.

A total of 17,326 birds (9,066 in Pallipad, 8,260 in Karuvatta) have been culled and a total of 1,570 kg feed have been destroyed in the epicentres of the outbreak in Alappuzha. At the epicenter in district of Kottayam, 4,229 birds have been culled and a total of 8 kg feed and 42 eggs have been destroyed as on today, the release said.

Further, some samples of crow from Kale Hanumanji Forest Nakka, Jaipur, Rajasthan were found positive for H5N8 avian influenza virus. Accordingly, advisories have been issued to the States so as to avoid further spread of disease to poultry.

Unusual mortalities have been found in 7,111 domestic birds in Haryana, 150 wild birds in Madhya Pradesh, 10 crows in Gujarat and 336 migratory birds in Himachal Pradesh today.

As per reports received from Haryana, a total of 430,267 birds have died in Barwala, Panchkula in the past 25 days and the samples have been sent to the designated laboratory for testing. The results are still awaited. The State has constituted 59 teams to control and contain the disease.


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