Status of Avian Influenza in the country

France to cull 600,000 poultry to stem bird flu

So far, the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, a nodal body for testing the disease, has not issued any warning, officials said.

"We are working on the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines which will be out by tomorrow", the official said, while stressing on the need for everyone to remain careful.

The Madhya Pradesh government said that it was monitoring reservoirs and poultry farms in the affected districts.

After confirmation of positive samples from ICAR-NIHSAD, the avian influenza virus has been reported from Rajasthan (crow), Madhya Pradesh (crow), Himachal Pradesh (migratory birds), and Kerala (poultry duck) at 12 epicenters.

Avian influenza refers to the disease caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses. "It is better to avoid poultry and its products till flu is eliminated in birds", he said. There have also been recent detections in wild birds, poultry and captive birds across Great Britain (GB), in addition to detections in the Republic of Ireland (ROI).

Avian influenza, as its name suggests, occurs mainly in birds, being highly contagious among them.

President Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK), Dr Suhail Naik said it is high time to sound an alert and take optimal preventive measures. Thousands of crows, chickens, and ducks have died in past one week in several parts of the country due to bird flu.

There have been no reports of avian flu transmitting to people in India so far during this outbreak.

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Usually, bird flu viruses do not infect humans, but there have been instances of humans contracting it since 1997.

The government has initiated disease control measures at the premises following the initial findings at the weekend and the birds will be humanely culled.

Culling operations are underway in the two districts and strict controls have been imposed to contain the H5N8 strain of the bird flu. Movement of birds to wetlands is also possible.

Gharana Wetland Conservation Reserve in R S Pura sector near the International Border was notified in 1981 and is home to more than 170 species of birds like bar-headed geese, gadwalls, common teals, purple swamp hens, Indian moor hens, black-winged stilts, cormorants, egrets and green shanks.

Can avian influenza be transmitted to humans? Sale of bird meat and eggs in the affected regions has also been prohibited by authorities. Officials inspected the area around the Pong Dam Lake sanctuary in Kangra district to check the spread of the flu to domestic poultry birds.

Symptoms begin to appear in a person within 2 to 8 days after he/she gets infected with Bird Flu.

Anwesh Patel, president of GBFCC and owner of around 10 poultry farms in Anand district, says that the consumption of broiler chicken in Gujarat is pegged at 600 tonnes per day and the industry has seen a 90% dip in sales since Monday.

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