Health authorities deny report of bird flu

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Shillong, Feb 22 (UNI) Health authorities in Meghalaya today denied that the girl, admitted in a hospital, was infected with the deadly H5N1 virus, but suffering from fever.

Anjalina Paslain (21) had been admitted with fever and rashes and kept in the isolation ward in Civil Hospital, Director of Health Services Dr KH Lakiang told UNI here.

The patient was stable and recuperating, but still under strict observation, Dr Lakiang said.

Denying media report that the girl was suspected to be suffering from bird flu, Dr Lakiang said blood and stool samples of the victim had been sent for test to National Institute of Communicable Diseases in Delhi for confirmation.

The victim, hailing from Saipung village in Jaintia Hills district, was first admitted at the local health centre, after which she was brought to a private hospital in Shillong, which further referred her to the civil hospital here.

Meanwhile, Director of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department, Dr D Khonglah said a Rapid Response Team had rushed and collected blood samples of chickens after mass deaths of birds in Saipung village.

The blood tests of the birds proved negative for H5N1 virus, Dr Khonglah said and ruled out any threat of the deadly virus.

The birds died due to Ranikhet disease as poultry owners skipped regular vaccinations, the veterinarian said.

UNI RRK SJC SHB KP1813

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