Ducks falling sick at a farm in Kaippuzha in Kottayam where bird flu was confirmed | Photo: G Sivaprasad
New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Wednesday that it has deployed multi-disciplinary teams to Avian Influenza affected Alappuzha and Kottayam districts in Kerala and Panchkula district in Haryana.
The Department of Animal Husbandry on January 4 had notified the detection of Avian Influenza (H5N8) in samples of dead ducks from Alappuzha and Kottayam districts in Kerala. A similar report of Avian Influenza has also been received from the poultry samples from Panchkula.
The two multi-disciplinary teams comprising experts from the National Centre for Disease Control, National Institute of Virology at PGIMER in Chandigarh, RML Hospital and Lady Hardinge Medical College in Delhi have been deployed to the affected districts by the ministry. They have been tasked with assisting the state health departments for implementing the Avian Influenza containment plan of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Additionally, a high level team comprising the Director, NCDC, and Joint Secretary and Covid-19 nodal officer, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, has been deployed to Kerala to oversee the implementation of Avian Influenza containment operations and guide the state health department in mounting appropriate public health interventions for the same.
In addition, this high level team will also review the Covid-19 situation in the state. Similar reports of Avian Influenza have also been received from Jhalawar, Rajasthan, and Bhind, Madhya Pradesh, involving crows and migratory birds.
The Department of Animal Husbandry, as per the laid down protocol, has issued alerts to further intensify surveillance to detect any case in poultry birds.
So far, no human case of Avian Influenza has been reported.
Avian Influenza (AI) viruses have been circulating worldwide for centuries with four known major outbreaks recorded in the last century. India notified the first outbreak of Avian Influenza in 2006.
In India, the disease spreads mainly through migratory birds coming into the country during the winter months, i.e., from September-October to February-March.