Maharashtra: Bird flu cases confirmed in Parbhani, Mumbai, Thane

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Updated: Jan 11, 2021 4:25 PM

The district administration has now decided to cull nearly 8,000 birds in Murumba village where these hens died, Collector Deepak Muglikar told PTI.

Bird flu is reported in India every year but there has not been a single report of human transmissionBird flu is reported in India every year but there has not been a single report of human transmission. (Photo source: IE)

Avian influenza has been confirmed as the cause of death of different birds in Parbhani, Mumbai, Thane, Beed and Dapoli in Maharashtra, as per test reports of a Bhopal-based lab, a senior state government official said on Monday.
However, it is “absolutely safe” to consume eggs or chicken as the virus cannot withstand cooking temperatures,
and people need not worry as infection to humans due to bird flu is “rarest of rare”, state animal husbandry department secretary Anoop Kumar told PTI. The official also said they would be increasing bio-safety measures in poultry farms so that there is no interface with wild birds.

In the morning, Parbhani Collector Deepak Muglikar told PTI that bird flu has been confirmed as the cause of death of around 900 hens at a poultry farm in Murumba village and the district administration has decided to cull nearly
8,000 birds in the village. Kumar said the animal husbandry department has already started implementing its action plan and the culling of birds will begin from Tuesday. He said 8,000 to 10,000 birds within one-km radius of the infected zone in Parbhani may be culled.

According to the Bhopal-based ICAR-National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), two crows from
Mumbai died due to bird flu. Three pond egrets and a parrot from Thane were infected by the H5N1 avian influenza virus, the institute’s test report said. Besides, a chicken and two herons from Parbhani too died of H5N1 avian influenza virus, while crows from Beed and Dapoli (in Ratnagiri district) were infected by H5N8 avian influenza virus, as per the report.

“Our action plan implementation work has begun. We will be holding a review meeting with the chief minister (Uddhav Thackeray) in the evening,” Kumar said. “We will get our strategies approved by the CM and start culling from tomorrow, especially in Parbhani where poultry birds have been found to be infected,” he said. The government machinery, including district collectors and forest department, is on alert, he said. Kumar also said that people need not worry as infection to humans due to bird flu is “rarest of rare”. The state government is also running a campaign to make people aware that it is safe to consume eggs and poultry products, because there is “absolutely no possibility” of infection due to eating them.

“And our cooking temperature takes care of any kind of virus, not only flu virus…it is absolutely safe to eat eggs
and chicken,” he said. Talking to reporters in Jalna, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said his department is on alert in view of the bird flu cases found in the state. However, there is nothing to fear, he said and asked people to take care and be safe. Earlier, Parbhani Collector Muglikar said they have created a prohibitory zone in 10 km radius of the area where the birds died.

“No birds will be transported from there to any other place. Our medical team is stationed there and it is examining
all people of the village,” he said. There is no need to be panic and the district administration is taking all precautions, he added. Meanwhile, the Thane Municipal Corporation has set up a control room to monitor the situation and appealed to people to promptly report any cases of bird deaths in the city. It will also work to pro-actively remove fear from the minds of citizens and give them appropriate information from time-to-time, a release from thhe civic body said. Bird flu cases have so far been confirmed in Maharashtra, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

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