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Assam: Bird flu reaches alarming proportion

K Anurag in Guwahati | December 12, 2008 21:47 IST

Over 2.6 lakh fowls have been culled in Assam so far where flu bird has reached an alarming proportion affecting nine districts till date. The state veterinary and animal husbandry department have engaged over 400 rapid response teams in the on-going culling operation.

The first incidence of bird flu was reported in a village under Hajo revenue circle of Kamrup districts on November 27 last. Immediately, the state veterinary department launched culling operations in surrounding areas. However, fresh reports of incidence of the disease continued to pour in from new areas.

The avian influenza has taken even spread to the state's capital city where the dreaded virus was detected among poultry birds in a government run farm. The state government has sounded alert over sale and consumption of the poultry products in the state while sale of the same has been banned in all affected districts, according to an official source.

Meanwhile, the government in the neighbouring has imposed ban on import of poultry products through Assam in the wake of outbreak of the avian influenza.

Meghalaya Veterinary department has collected samples from domestic fowls to check presence of stains of deadly H5N1 virus (bird flu virus).

With bird flu spreading to new areas in the state, Assam health department has pressed the panic button saying that it was not adequately equipped to handle large scale transmission of bird flu to humans.

The state health officials are closely monitoring upper respiratory tract infection � a symptom of bird flu -- detected in humans in different bird flu affected areas in the state. However, it was yet to be confirmed whether these URI cases were really transmitted from affected poultry birds or not as none of the affected persons had any history of coming in contact with bird flu affected poultry birds, a senior health department official said.

Central health department teams comprising doctors, epidemiologist, and microbiologists have fanned out to some of the bird flu affected areas in Kamrup and Nalbari districts of the state under the supervision of the Regional Directorate of Health and Family Welfare to monitor the situation on daily basis.

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