Two members of a culling team in bird flu-hit South 24-Parganas district in West Bengal have been admitted to a hospital with symptoms of influenza, even as killing of diseased poultry continued in the affected districts of the state on Monday.
Both the patients were members of a team engaged in the culling at Budge Budge in the district.
Tarak Nath Haldar was admitted to M S Bangur hospital while Mohammad Azizul Rahman was admitted to Budge Budge Rural Hospital on Sunday, Chief Medical Officer Health, Sachidananda Sarkar told PTI.
While blood samples of Haldar had been given for testing, a team from Bangur hospital would go to Budge Budge to take blood samples of Rahman, he said.
He said Haldar was suffering from fever, headache and body ache. Doctors were monitoring his condition to ascertain whether he had developed any respiratory problem as the fever could take a turn towards pneumonia, Sarkar said.
He said as of now, there were no reports of human deaths from bird flu in the country.
Meanwhile, 12 more culling teams were sent to Canning block, where fresh culling had been taken up on Sunday with ten teams already operating in the area, official sources said. Culling is being done in a 5 km radius from Sarengabad gram panchayat, including five in Canning II block and two in Bhangar block, sources said.
Culling is also being taken up in Minakha block in North 24-Parganas adjoining Sarengabad in Debital and Malia mouzas, the sources said.
Police are accompanying the culling teams in the door-to-door culling operations.
A report from Coochbehar said 1,632 chicken were killed during the special drive launched on Sunday in Dinhata I to cull hidden diseased birds.
Culling has been completed in three blocks of the district - Dinhata I, Dinhata II and Mathabhanga I. Altogether, 83,523 chicken have been culled and compensation totalling Rs 26,49,970 has been paid, District Magistrate Rajesh Kumar Sinha said.
People have been asked to inform the district authorities if they display any signs of fever within respiratory problems, the DM said, adding that there was no shortage of Tamiflu tablets in the district.
Mopping up operation and disinfection drive was being taken up in a radius of 3 km in the affected areas. The operations would last for ten days and every household would be checked, Sinha said.
He said the administration would put up boards in areas where the culled chicken had been buried, prohibiting any digging work for the next five years to ensure that the virus did not spread.
Some culling team members, who had left for their homes without undergoing quarantine, were being rounded up from their villages and sent to quarantine, Sinha said.
Those workers undergoing quarantine would be paid half-day's salary as per government scales, Sinha said.
Meanwhile, six cattle deaths reported from Bhojenerchhara village in Mathabhanga II block of the district on Monday tested positive for anthrax. Animals in the block were being administered anti-anthrax vaccines, Sinha said.
In North 24-Parganas, two persons had been admitted to Bongaon sub-divisional hospital with fever but it was not a case of bird flu, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer (Health) said.
Official sources said 600 chicken would be culled today in Minakha block adjoinging South 24-Parganas. House-to-house surveillance was on as part of disinfection and mopping up operations, the sources said.
A report from Suri said volunteers engaged in culling operation in Birbhum district, the worst-affected district, had returned home.
ARD Deputy Director N D Bhowmick said they would be recalled and put in quarantine and a list was being compiled accordingly.
Meanwhile, mop-up operation was continuing for the second day today in Rampurhat 1 and Nalhati 1 blocks of the district .In the rest of the blocks, mopping operations were yet to begin, Bhowmick said.
In those blocks, the process of information gathering was on, he said. The police, he said, were ready to escort mop-up teams, if asked to.