Bird flu grips another West Bengal district

March 27th, 2008 - 10:47 pm ICT by admin  


Kolkata, March 27 (IANS) A fresh outbreak of bird flu was reported in West Bengal’s northern district of Jalpaiguri Thursday, a day after culling operations ended in Malda area in eastern India. “The samples of the dead poultry birds, which were sent to the High Security Animal Diseases Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal, had tested positive. We have already identified the area and the culling operation would begin from Friday,” West Bengal Animal Resource Development (ARD) Minister Anisur Rahman told IANS.

According to state ARD department sources, over 100 chickens died in backyard poultry farms in Boalmari under Jalpaiguri Sadar sub-division in Jalpaiguri district. The area is about 700 km from Kolkata.

However, the government earlier said there was no confirmation of bird flu in humans, a day after four workers involved in culling operations were put under medical supervision for “suspected symptoms”.

“No one has tested positive with bird flu symptoms in Malda district. A medical team, comprising 17 experts from the union health ministry, is constantly monitoring the situation there,” West Bengal Health Services Director Sanchita Bakshi told IANS.

An ARD official said culling activities would be carried out within a radius of five km of the bird flu affected area in Jalpaiguri. “We are expecting to complete the drive in three days,” he said.

Rahman said the total number of poultry birds, which would be slaughtered in Jalpaiguri district, was not finalised yet.

“I have asked concerned officials to set the culling target immediately,” the minister said.

The Jalpaiguri district administration held a meeting to prepare a combat mechanism for tackling the situation.

Earlier, poultry deaths were also reported in at Falakata area in Jalpaiguri district during Feb this year.

Two weeks ago, avian flu resurfaced at English Bazaar in Malda district and at Raghunathganj and Jiaganj areas in Murshidabad, almost a month after the government claimed it had contained the virus.

Bird flu was confirmed in West Bengal Jan 15.

The affected districts were South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, Birbhum, South Dinajpur, Murshidabad, Nadia, Burdwan, Bankura, Malda, Cooch Behar, Purulia and West Midnapore.

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