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Centre issues alert to states amid bird flu
October 27, 2016
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NEW DELHI: With birds in some parts of the country testing positive for avian influenza, the Centre issued a health advisory to states asking them to minimise bird-human interface to prevent an outbreak of bird flu.

Birds in Delhi, Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) and Kerala have tested positive avian influenza AH5N8, which according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), is considered less risky of being transmitted to humans.

But the government is taking no chances.

In an advisory to chief secretaries of all states and union territories, Health Secretary CK Mishra listed out precautions to be taken to prevent an outbreak and offered central assistance if needed.

In view of the WHO report describing AH5N8 as less risky of being transmitted, Animal Husbandry Secretary Devendra Chaudhary said there would be no impact on poultry trade.

“On the public health risk of avian influenza AH5N8, World Health Organisation has informed that ‘based on the current knowledge the risk of zoonotic transmission is considered low for H5N8’ for human population,” Mishra said.

“However, as a matter of abundant caution, you are requested to instruct the concerned department in your state/UT to minimise bird-human interface, use personal protective equipment by those handling dead or sick birds, keep person exposed to the dead/sick birds under surveillance and provide them chemoprophylaxis,” he said in the advisory.

Briefing media about the situation, the Animal Husbandry Secretary said that 45 samples from Delhi were received by the National Institute of High Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD), Bhopal and out of that 13 have tested positive for AH5N8.

Press Trust of India

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