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2.40 lakh birds culled: but quarantine continues

Written by: Staff

Jalgaon, Apr 5: A week after the second outbreak of bird flu in Jalgaon, authorities today said culling operation is over with the slaughtering of 2.40 lakh chickens in 288 villages of the district in northern Maharashtra.

District collector Vijay Singhal said 22 villages in the three km radius of the flu-hit villages will remain under quarantine for some more days as spraying operation to disinfect the area is still on.

He said health check-up of 1.30 lakh population in the 22 villages had been completed and no person examined so far has shown clinical symptoms of human influenza. Bus services to the villages will remain suspended for some more days as poeple's houses are being disinfected by spraying their inside with sodium hypochlorise and outside with formalin.

These villages were quarantined immediately after the second outbreak of avian flu was confirmed on March 28 when samples of dead birds from Badgaon, Utar, Parora, Varad, Paldhi and Erandol had tested positive for the H5N1 virus.

Earlier, 95,000 birds were killed in 174 villages when the first outbreak was confirmed on March 14.

More than three lakh birds had to be slaughtered in Navapur in Nandurbar district, also in northern Maharashtra, when the country's first outbreak of the avian flu occurred on February 18.

Mr Singhal said after the completion of culling in the remaining 266 villages located in 3 to 10 km range of the affected villages, disinfection operation was underway in these villages. An estimated five lakh population, too, had been examined by teams of health department, he said, adding no case of human influenza has occurred so far. However, a second random health check of the total 6.30 lakh population in 288 villages under observation would be made as a precaution.

The Collector said school examinations, which were suspended for a week in the district, would resume from Friday. The exams were suspened in view of the difficulties faced by the students in reaching their centres, particularly in the 22 quarantined villages.


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