Bird flu confirmed in new West Bengal town

March 19th, 2008 - 12:42 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, March 19 (IANS) A second West Bengal district is in the grip of bird flu since the deadly H5N1 virus resurfaced early March, almost a month after the government claimed it had contained the virus, officials said Wednesday. “Bird flu has been confirmed in Malda district’s English Bazaar town. We are mobilising our people to begin culling as soon as possible,” West Bengal Animal Resource Development (ARD) Minister Anirsur Rahman told IANS.

About 200 chickens have died at a state-run poultry farm in the town since March 13.

About 28,000 poultry birds have been culled in Malda’s adjoining Murshidabad district last week.

In February, West Bengal authorities had hoped India’s worst bird flu crisis that broke out in the state was over. Around four million poultry birds were culled since the announcement of the outbreak Jan 15.

The ban on sale and consumption of poultry products was also lifted from 13 of West Bengal’s 19 districts where the bird flu had raged.

The state government had then allayed fears of human infection, after the blood samples of the 19 people sent for testing were found negative.

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