Health officials examining bird flu outbreak in Sikkim

January 21st, 2009 - 6:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) Health officials were Wednesday examining the reported outbreak of bird flu in Sikkim that became the third state in India where poultry birds have been infected with the deadly virus in recent times.“Our central rapid response team from the health ministry has reached Gangtok and they are assisting the state health authorities in planning containment measures,” an official said here.

The outbreak of the virus has been confirmed in West Bengal and Assam. Till last week, a total of 483,726 birds have been culled in the two states, the official said.

Avian influenza was reported in Assam Nov 27 and in west Bengal almost three weeks later.

The Department of Animal Husbandry Monday notified the outbreak of the flu in poultry in the Hospital Road locality of Ravongla Municipality in south Sikkim district.

So far not a single human case of bird flu has been reported in India.

The official said they were undertaking a massive awareness campaign in the state. “We are distributing pamphlets and making announcements through radio and television channels,” the official added.

Apart from providing medicines, the health ministry has also given protective equipment and masks for the health workers. “We are monitoring the situation daily,” the official added.

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