Centre Beefs Up Measures To Curb Avian Flu Asks States To Increase Surveillance
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Avian Bird Flu: With avian influenza being reported from 12 epicentres in four states, the Centre has now alerted local authorities to increase surveillance in epicentres ensure containment strategy and monitoring their health in forest areas and near water bodies. Although there has been no human case of Avian Influenza reported so far, the Centre continues to keep a strict watch over the evolving scenario. Also Read: Several States On Alert As Bird Flu Scare Escalates; Can Avian Influenza Be Transmitted To Humans?

In a letter to counterparts in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Kerala, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Wednesday asked for active surveillance among birds and humans alike saying avian influenza is highly pathogenic and can transmit to human beings.

Here are 12 epicentres identified as risk zones:

1. Rajasthan (crow) – Baran, Kota, Jhalawar

2. Madhya Pradesh (crow) – Mandsaur, Indore, Malwa

3. Himachal Pradesh (migratory birds) – Kangra

4. Kerala (poultry-duck) – Kottayam, Allapuzha (4 epicentres)

Multi-disciplinary teams have been stationed at Alappuzha and Kottayam in Kerala and Panchkula in Haryana. The Union ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying had cited migratory birds as a cause for the spread of flu which has triggered an alarm in the north, central and southern India. The government has asked states to strengthen the biosecurity of poultry farms, disinfect the affected areas, and properly dispose of dead birds and carcasses. States have been asked to ensure timely collection and submission of samples for confirmation and further surveillance and intensification of surveillance plan.

In order to contain the transmission from affected birds to poultry and humans, the ministry has asked states to follow the general prevention guidelines. “Coordination with the forest department for reporting any unusual mortality of birds was also suggested to the States. The other states were also requested to keep a vigil on any unusual mortality amongst birds and to report immediately to take necessary measures,” the ministry said in a statement.

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