Bird Flu LIVE UPDATES: In Kerala, the Pinarayi Vijayan government has declared bird flu as state disaster.
Bird flu finds its origins in China. It was in the year 1996 when the first such case was reported from China. (PTI photos)
Bird Flu LIVE UPDATES: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday announced that import of live birds has been banned in the national Capital with immediate effect. Kejriwal also announced that the Ghazipur poultry market will also be closed for the next 10 days. The ‘avian influenza’, commonly known as bird flu, has arrived in India. After deaths of several crows in Rajasthan and hundreds of migratory birds in Himachal Pradesh’s Pong Dam, many similar occurrences have been reported from different parts of the country. In Kerala, the Pinarayi Vijayan government has declared bird flu as state disaster. The officials have ordered the culling of hundreds of ducks in the state. Unusual mortality among birds has also been reported from states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. In view of the bird flu, the Centre on Friday issued an advisory asking all states to keep a vigil.
The Narendra Modi government has also activated the avian influenza action plan. Under this, the local authorities have been told to watch out for any extraordinary deaths among birds in their areas. Be it in wild or under captivity, birds need to be watched carefully for showing any flu-like symptoms. In case a local authority spots something, she/he needs to contact the Central team immediately. After that, the team will collect the bird for an epidemiological probe. In case, flu is detected, the area needs to be cordoned off and disinfected. According to the statement by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, the Central teams have already been deployed in Haryana, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh.
In Delhi’s Hastsal Village and Mayur Vihar areas, several crows have died in the last few days. According to caretaker working at the Mayur Vihar Park, nearly 200 crows have died in last one week. Samples have been sent to know whether the crows died due to bird flu or not. Bird flu also finds its origins in China. It was in the year 1996 when the first such case was reported from China. A year later, in 1997, a Hong Kong poultry worker became the first human to be infected with bird flu.
The extremely high mortality rate of 60 per cent is the reason why the officials are alarmed over avian influenza in India. While human-to-human transmission has not been reported anywhere, those with low immunity need to stay alert. The Centre has also asked people consuming eggs and chicken to keep a watch. According to a report by the Indian Express, there are two strains of bird flu that have been found among the dead birds in India. In Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the officials found H5N8 strain of the bird flu. On the other hand, the more lethal H5N1 strain was found among dead birds in Himachal Pradesh.
In case, the bird flu infects a human, the viral disease stays in the body for a period of 10 days. Major symptoms of bird flu are muscle pain, sore throat, runny nose, uneasiness, constant headache, fever, diarrhoea, difficulty in breathing.