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Manipur bird flu: Surveillance mounted
K Anurag in Guwahati | July 28, 2007 11:18 IST
In addition to carrying out culling of poultry birds, Manipur health department is also focusing of examining human population in the vicinity of the bird flu affected site in Imphal east district to detect any human infection because of the deadly H5N1 avian virus.
The state health directorate has engaged over 40 medical teams to examine estimated 3 lakh people living in over 60,000 households in and around Chingmeirong area where the avian flu virus has struck. The screening is intended to be completed within 10 days.
According to a health department source in Imphal, so far close to 10,500 people were scanned by medical teams from over 1,700 households.
Fifty-nine persons were detected to be suffering from acute respiratory infection after being affected by viruses other than any of the bird flu strains.
Meanwhile, two respiratory ventilators arrived in Imphal from the National Institute of Communicable Disease in New Delhi to equip the 10-bed isolation ward in Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital in Imphal.
Seven such ventilators have already been installed in the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal. A team of NICD officials experienced in human surveillance during bird flu outbreak in Maharashtra are now camping in Imphal to monitor and supervise surveillance operation of the human populace within a 5 km radius of the affected zone at Chingmeirong.
Meanwhile, 20 per cent of the 86 villages selected for culling of poultry birds have already been covered during the last couple of days.
The government has set a target for culling 1.6 lakh poultry birds in the area within 5 km radius of Chingmeirong.
So far over 25,000 chickens have been culled during the last two days.
However, authorities were yet to trace the exact source of avian flu outbreak. According to a highly-placed source in the Manipur Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department, the owner of Chingmeirong poultry farm where bird flu was detected, denied having importing fowl from neighbouring Myanmar illegally.
The first outbreak of the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus was reported in Myanmar in March 2007.