With the bird flu scare on the rise, states step up monitoring systems.


In the wake of unusual bird mortality, the center asks states to be prepared for any eventualities.


Bird flu scare continues to spread as deaths were reported from at least 4 more states namely, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Odisha. Currently, two strains of the influenza virus have been detected - H5N8 and H5N1.


On Thursday, a central team investigated regions of Alappuzha in Kerala to access the situation. Kerela is the worst affected state where avian influenza has been confirmed.

The three-member central team visited the bird-flu affected places. They also inspected the culling of birds in Karuvatta, Pallippad, and Thakazhi.


They will submit a report about the same. The team is also studying the health risk of the bird flu virus, for the general public. Currently, there are no reports of this virus infecting humans, even though it is zoonotic, as told by the Ministry of Environment. There is no direct evidence that Avian influenza viruses can be transmitted to humans via the consumption of contaminated poultry products.


In UP, an alert was sounded after many crows were found dead in Sonbhadra on Wednesday. In Punjab, 4 crows and a crane were found dead in the Gurdaspur district on Thursday. In Rajasthan, another 375 birds were discovered dead on Thursday. In Himachal Pradesh, around 355 migratory birds were discovered dead in the Pong dam lake area, Kangra district. This rose the number of migratory bird deaths to approximately 3410. The Himachal Pradesh CM, Jai Ram Thakur said Tamiflu capsules and other related provisions have been provided to the frontline field staff engaged in handling and disposal of birds.


Ravinder Hooda, deputy director of State Animal Husbandry and Dairying department stated that they have formed teams at block level to analyze the situation minutely. The National District Management Authority held a meeting with all states' officials of health and animal husbandry departments and State Disaster Management Authorities. The aim of the meeting was to ensure preparedness and advise on intensive surveillance in affected areas. Measures to control the spread of avian influenza were discussed in the meeting.

The central government has formed a central control room to plan, coordinate, and aid outbreak management.


States on high alert

On Thursday, the Karnataka government has put Kerala-bordering districts on high alert. This step was undertaken over the supply of poultry products. All states are maintaining high monitoring and undertaking proper guidelines.


The Jammu and Kashmir government has banned the entry of poultry, after the outbreak in the neighboring states. The ban was announced on Thursday and comes into effect from Friday. So far no bird flu deaths were reported in the union territory, and it is taking measures to remain the same.


The Union Minister, Giriraj Singh, in an attempt to ease fears, has stated that meat and eggs are safe from carrying the virus to humans, provided they are cooked fully.

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