WHO urges New Delhi to watch bird flu outbreak

April 24th, 2008 - 2:54 pm ICT by admin  

By Sujit Chakraborty
Agartala, April 24 (IANS) The World Health Organisation (WHO) has asked India to prevent further spread of bird flu from Bangladesh and voiced satisfaction over the way the avian influenza was tackled in West Bengal and Tripura. Ashish Roy Burman, director of the Tripura animal resource development (ARD) department, said both the Rome-based World Animal Organisation (WAO) and the WHO were happy how the bird flu was tackled in West Bengal and Tripura.

“The WAO and WHO have asked the Indian government to keep maximum vigil (in) states (bordering Bangladesh) to check the spread of avian flu virus from across the border,” Burman told IANS.

India shares a 4,095-km long border with Bangladesh. “Forty-seven of the 64 districts in Bangladesh have been affected by bird flu and the chances of the virus spreading into India are big. Thousands of poultry firms exist on both sides of the border apart from the illegal trade of birds and their products,” the official said.

“US officials are also monitoring the bird flu situation in Tripura,” said U. Venkateswarlu, principal secretary in charge of the ARD department.

In Tripura, over 41,000 poultry birds have been slaughtered following an outbreak of bird flu last month in the border villages of Kamalpur in Dhalai district, 150 km north of the capital Agartala.

Bird flu broke out again in western Tripura Tuesday, a week after culling was completed in villages of Dhalai.

He said that mass culling of birds had started Thursday morning in Mohanpur village, 30 km from Agartala.

Twenty Rapid Response Teams have been deployed to kill over 65,000 birds in the next five days in Mohanpur and adjoining eight other villages. The mass culling would be carried out within a radius of 10 km of the affected villages.

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