Bird flu detected in Manipur

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, July 26 | Updated: Jul 28 2007, 04:19am hrs
Hardly 12 months ago India was declared free of Avian Influenza. Now this deadly disease has reappeared in the poultry and this time in a remote village in the northeastern part of the country.

The Union government after getting reports confirmed on Wednesday the incidence of Avian flu in a small poultry unit in village Chingmeirong in East Imphal district of Manipur. It said it is not yet fully confirmed whether the disease spread from the neighbouring Avian flu affected countries Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The Union animal husbandry secretary, Charusheela Sohoni briefing mediapersons said that 123 birds in this small unit died within six days from July 7. The authorities, thereafter, became alert and collected samples from the remaining 12 birds and forwarded it to the high Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL), Bhopal and National Institute of Virology, Pune for testing. The samples were proved positive for highly pathogenic Avian flu with the strain H5 detected.

The experts are at work to detect the N-type strain. After there reports are made available we will be able to say where there is N1 or N2 or N5 strain. But at this level of detection the strain H% is highly pathogenic, she said.

India reported first outbreak of Avian flu in 2006 in Maharashtra and parts of Gujarat. Control and containment measures were successfully carried out to check the spread of the disease as per the protocol prescribed by the world organization on animal health OIE. Three months after the completion of the successful culling and containment operations and with no further occurrence of the disease, India was declared free of Avian flu by FAO in August 2006.

Last years incidence of Avian flu caused an estimated loss of Rs 3000 crore to the poultry industry and 12 countries banned poultry product imports from India.

This time we are alert and have taken all necessary operation within a radius of 10 km from the place of occurance to prevent the spread of the disease and compensate the loss to the affected units, said Sohoni. The compensation would be Rs 30 per broiler bird, Rs 40 per layer bird, Rs 10 per 10-day for chicks below 10 day-old and Rs 6 per kgf for feed. The Union health ministry too has initiated action to prevent the spread of the disease to humans.