Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bird Flu Alert in Manipur after death of fowls

Statesman News Service

IMPHAL : The unusual death of 132 fowls recently in a private poultry farm here has alarmed Manipur’s veterinary department. It is on alert following reports of the deadly avian flu virus in neighbouring Myanmar and Bangladesh. The department has swung into action, taking precautionary measures. The farm owner and his family members have been administered Tamiflu vaccine. The department has, however, said there is no need to be alarmed. The department today contacted a veterinary doctor in Pune with samples of anal and nasal swabs taken from the infected fowls for laboratory testing. Two doctors are in New Delhi en route to a high security animal disease laboratory in Bhopal. The joint commissioner of the Union agriculture ministry in charge of livestock health, Mr AB Negi, said here that an additional 1,000 pieces of N 95 personal protection equipment kit are arriving today. Mr Negi said until the report arrives from Bhopal, nothing can be concluded. All precautionary measures are being taken to prevent an avian flu outbreak, even if the report turns out to be positive, he said.

The flu has hit more than 16 districts in Bangladesh. The porous border is worrying Manipur’s officials. Mr Negi expressed satisfaction with the measures being taken up by the state veterinary and animal husbandry department. Dr Th Dorendro, director, veterinary department, said 12 fowls that survived the flu have been culled and their blood samples taken for testing. He said field staff are monitoring the area for unusual death of fowls within the 15-km radius of the affected farm. So far, the incident seems to be isolated case. After the outbreak of avian influenza in Bangladesh earlier this year, the Manipur chief secretary on 12 April alerted six departments, including home and health. State, district and sub-divisional level monitoring cells were proposed to be set up

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