Gujarat: Bird flu confirmed in four districts
Not a single caseof avian influenza has been reported in humans so far, itsaid.
Bird flu cases have beenconfirmed in Gujarat's Surat, Vadodara and Valsad districts,as some samples of dead crows from there have tested positivefor the pathogen, taking the number of the districts wheresuch cases have been reported so far since Friday to four,officials said on Monday.
Bird flu cases were first reported from Junagadh inthe state on January 8, officials said.
''Samples of four crows collected from two places atBardoli taluka in Surat on January 6 were sent to aBhopal-based laboratory. These samples have tested positivefor bird flu,'' said Nilam Dave, deputy director of AnimalHusbandry department, Surat.
Besides, three out of five samples of crows collectedfrom Vasantpura village in Savli taluka of Vadodara, where 25crows died on January 6, have also tested positive, VadodaraAnimal Husbandry department's deputy director Prakash Darjisaid.
The Gujarat government sounded a bird flu alert onJanuary 5.
In the following days, districts like Surat, Vadodara,Tapi, Kutch, Narmada, Valsad, Mehsana etc. recorded deaths ofbirds, especially crows, ducks, pigeons, peacocks andlapwings, the health department said.
According to officials, samples of carcasses of birdshave been sent to the laboratory in Bhopal and results in manycases are awaited.
The government also said that no unusual death hasbeen reported in poultry farms.
All the hospitals in the state have been provided withnecessary facilities including isolation wards, and medicinefor this disease is available in sufficient quantity, it said.
The health department has started immediatesurveillance of the affected areas as part of the alert on thedeath of birds.
As per the standard guidelines on bird flu outbreak,an area of 0-10 km radius is declared as an alert zone andintensive surveillance is being carried out in all theaffected areas.
The health department has declared 0-3 km radius areaas infected zone, and 3-10 km radius area as surveillancezone.
''House-to-house surveillance is carried out in an areaof 0 to 3 km and persons with symptoms of influenza aresurveyed in an area of 3 to 10 km,'' the health departmentsaid.
''Avian influenza is a low pathogenic virus, meaning itis less lethal than other bird flu viruses. Not a single caseof avian influenza has been reported in humans so far,'' itsaid.
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