Resurgence of bird flu ''isolated'' incident: Minister

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Kolkata, Mar 11 (UNI) Resurgence of bird flu in two villages of Murshidabad district was an ''isolated'' incident and people should not panick about it, Animal Resources Development Minister Anisur Rahman said today.

Replying to a question in the Assembly, the Minister said the return of the disease in some pockets was not ''abnormal'' and might continue for sometime, but people should not be frightened.

'' Bird flu was noticed in 50 countries, including China and Bangladesh, and spanned across three continents, but the disease in China was completely wiped out after six years. So no one should be alarmed regarding the resurface of the disease in Murshidabad,'' Mr Rahman observed.

He, however, informed that culling resumed in the affected districts yesterday and the authorities targeted to wipe out 50,000 birds.

'' We have targetted to cull about 50,000 birds in Nayamukundapur and Badra villages of Murshidabad district and the operation is being carried out by 60 teams of health officials,'' Mr Rahman maintained.

He said samples collected from the two districts tested H5N1 positive at the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal and about 1,000 birds died in those two areas over the past eleven days.

Mr Rahman had earlier said that the new cases might be due to villagers hiding ducks and chickens during the previous culling operation.

About four million birds were culled between January and February in 16 bird flu-hit districts of West Bengal.

UNI ADG KK/src1620

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