West Bengal reports fresh outbreak of bird flu

January 3rd, 2009 - 9:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Siliguri (West bengal), Jan.3 (ANI):Health and veterinary workers in West Bengal’’s Siliguri region have started culling poultry birds after a reports of a fresh outbreak of the H5N1 virus that layman terms translates into bird flu.
The main epicenter of the flu has been fixed at Binay Krishna Pally off Siliguri in the District of Darjeeling. The latest outbreak of the virus in poultry is the fourth in West Bengal since 2007.
Bird flu first broke out in India in 2006 and millions of chicken and ducks had been culled to contain the virus.
Although it has resurfaced from time to time, there have been no reports of any human infections in India.
West Bengal Government officials clarified that they had begun culling about 60,000 poultry birds after the fourth outbreak was confirmed.
Thus a massive culling operation of poultry is under way.
“Whatever area falls within the three kilometres area of the epicenter where avian influenza has been confirmed, we are going to cull all birds. We have an estimate of the birds to be culled. We have also, in fact, checked the outward and inward movement of all the birds,” said Surendra Gupta, District Magistrate Darjeeling.
Earlier, hundreds of thousands of birds had been culled in India’’s north-eastern Assam state and neighboring Meghalaya after bird flu was detected in November last year.
Experts have warned that the H5N1 virus might mutate or combine with the highly contagious seasonal influenza virus and spark a pandemic that could kill millions of people across the world.(ANI)

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