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Centre rushes multi-disciplinary teams to avian influenza-hit districts of Kerala, Haryana


New Delhi, Jan 06: The Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday it has deployed multi-disciplinary teams to avian influenza-affected Alappuzha and Kottayam districts of Kerala, and Panchkula district of Haryana.

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On Monday, avian influenza (H5N8) in samples of duck carcasses from Alappuzha and Kottayam districts in Kerala was notified by the animal husbandry department. Similar reports of avian influenza have also been received from poultry samples from Panchkula district, it said in a statement.

Two multi-disciplinary teams comprising experts from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), National Institute of Virology, PGIMER Chandigarh, RML Hospital and Lady Hardinge Medical College in New Delhi, have been deployed to the affected districts on January 4 to assist the health departments of the states in implementing the health ministry's avian influenza containment plan.

Explained: What is Avian influenza or bird flu? How is it transmitted to humans? How to prevent it

Additionally, a high-level team comprising NCDC director, joint secretary and COVID-19 nodal officer, Ministry of Food Processing Industries has been deployed to Kerala on January 6 to oversee implementation of the avian influenza containment operations and guide the health department in mounting appropriate public health interventions, the statement said.

This high-level team will also review the COVID-19 situation in the state. According to the ministry, avian influenza involving crows and migratory birds has been reported from Jhalawar in Rajasthan and Bhind in Madhya Pradesh. The animal husbandry departments have issued alerts according to protocol to further intensify surveillance to detect the disease in poultry birds.

"So far, no human case of avian influenza has been reported. The Health Ministry continues to keep a strict watch over the evolving scenario," it said.

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