Dead birds sample sent to HSADL found positive for Bird Flu

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New Delhi, Jan 15 (UNI) The samples of dead poultry birds collected from Birbhum and Dakshin Dinajpur districts of West Bengal and sent to High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL), Bhopal have been found positive for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5 virus by the laboratory.

The unusual mortality of poultry was reported from Birbhum and Dakshin Dinajpur districts of West Bengal by the Director, Department of Animal Resources and Animal Health, Government of West Bengal on January 11, 2008, an official release here said.

The samples were collected and forwarded to HSADL, Bhopal by West Bengal Government as per specified regime of tests on January 12, 2008. One sample from each district of Birbhum and south Dinajpur have been found positive for HPAI-H5 virus by the laboratory.

Based on the initial assessment of the State Government, death of approximately 35,525 poultry in 102 villages in six blocks of Birbhum district, and death of 288 poultry in one state poultry farm in Dakshim Dinajpur district has taken place during the last seven days.

The outbreak of the disease appears to be localised to few blocks in Birbhum, and only to one farm in Dakshin Dinajpupr districts of West Bengal.

However, there was no report of unusual mortality or sickness in the neighbouring areas in West Bengal, the release said.

On getting the report of unusual mortality of poultry from Birbhum and Dakshin Dinajpur districts of West Bengal, the Central Government had immediately deputed officers from the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying&Fisheries to reach the site.

These officers have been present on the site since January 12, 2008 to advice and guide the officers of State Government. The state was also advised to seal the border with neighbouring countries and also the affected areas, so that there is no movement of animals across these borders. The disease has been confined to only two districts of Birbhum and Dakshin Dinajpur of West Bengal.

West Bengal has set up 60 rapid response teams for the implementation of action plan in the affected areas in Birbhum district. These teams are equipped with necessary protective equipments like masks, gloves etc.

About 5,000 more personal protective equipment and masks are being made available to the government of West Bengal today as per their request.

The Centre has also impressed upon West Bengal to provide compensation to the affected farmers, whose birds are being culled simultaneously when the culling took place. Necessary funds have been provided by Government of India under its scheme for the purpose.

The state has been also requested to take immediate and necessary action as per the detailed action plan already intimated to the State Government in November, 2006, the release added.


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