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Manipur gears up to fight bird flu
K Anurag in Guwahati | July 26, 2007 14:38 IST
An alert has been sounded in Manipur in the wake of out break of bird flu (avian influenza) in a small poultry farm in the Imphal east district of the state.
The health department in Manipur has set up a 10-bed isolation ward at J N Hospital in Imphal to treat avian influenza (bird flu) afflicted patients, if any.
According to Manipur's director of animal husbandry and veterinary director, the outbreak of the disease is confined to a small farm at Chingmeirong in Imphal East district.
The spread of the H5 strain of avian influenza in a small poultry farm at Chingmeirong was confirmed on Wednesday following blood samples collected from the farm testing positive at the Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal and National Institute of Virology in Pune.
Samples were collected from eight dead birds in the poultry farm.
Manipur state government has set up a special cell to monitor the entry of poultry products from avian-flu affected neighbouring Bangladesh and Manipur.
Alarm was raised in the state earlier this month following the incidence of the death of a number of chickens in the poultry farm in Chingmeirong.
The state health department already decided to conduct crash course for nurses and doctors who will be in the Rapid Response Teams of the state health department to fight the spread of avian flu while a map was being chalked out plotting vulnerable areas in the state.
The state has constituted 80 RRTs equipped with personal protection equipment kits.
The state government following the first round of state level meeting held earlier this month under the supervision of state Chief Secretary Jarnail Singh had already instructed the state health department to take precautionary steps.
As a result, the department started procuring kits for the operational medical team and other medical items for the prevention of human to human transfer of the virus.
Avian influenza has been reported in nearly 70 countries across four continents since the present wave commenced in 1997 in Hong Kong.
It has exhibited a tendency to re-surface in outbreak countries, having recurred in nearly 20 countries out of 25 countries affected in 2007.
It has been reported in countries neighbouring India viz. China, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The north-eastern part of the country is particularly vulnerable because of continuing outbreaks in neighbouring countries.
India reported an outbreak of avian influenza in 2006. Control and containment measures were carried out by the government in the affected areas.
The outbreak was successfully controlled. India had declared it was free from avian influenza in August 2006.
The country has remained under sustained surveillance with more than 1,70,000 samples having been tested in the country since February 2006 outbreak.
No fresh outbreak was reported in the country after April 2006.