Pawar on bird flu: No human infection reported

January 17th, 2008 - 12:03 am ICT by admin  

New Delhi/Kolkata, Jan 16 (ANI): Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today said that there have been no reports of humans getting infected by the bird flu after its outbreak was confirmed in West Bengal.
Pawar said he was confident that the authorities would succeed in controlling the outbreak of the avian flu in West Bengal’s Birbhum District and South Dinajpur District.
“There is definitely a limited problem on the Bangladesh border, but we have taken immediate action. The country has faced twice this type of problem and we never tried to hide anything,” Pawar told reporters.
He further said that the government is trying to concentrate the virus in that particular area and is confident that the situation will be normalised.
When asked whether any human infection has been reported, Pawar said “No not even one.”
The government confirmed on Tuesday that the latest outbreak of bird flu in West Bengal was of the virulent H5N1strain.
Veterinary workers have begun culling of thousands of chicken in the State.
In all 55 teams of the State Animal Resources Development department have fanned out to 105 villages under Birbhum District, as culling of birds began today.
Animal Resources Development Minister Anisur Rahaman had on Tuesday said that over 3.5 lakh birds in Birbhum and 26,000 in South Dinajpur District would be culled.
West Bengal has sealed a stretch of its border with Bangladesh, which has been fighting to contain the spread of bird flu since March last year.
Meanwhile, North Eastern states have sounded an alert and sealed borders to prevent entry of birds into the region.
All the NE states sharing borders either with Bangladesh or with West Bengal have alerted the borders.
This is the fourth outbreak of the H5N1 strain in Indian poultry since 2006.
According to initial assessment, about 35,525 poultry in 102 villages of Birbhum District’s six blocks and 288 poultry in a poultry farm in South Dinajpur District have died during the last one-week. (ANI)

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