Saturday, August 04, 2007

India : Four Quarantined Children Cleared For H5N1 Infection

But 51 People Still Remain Under Quarantine

First the good news :
On Friday, authorities cleared four boys who had been suffering from fever after handling dead or sick poultry in Manipur.
Now the not so good news :
India has quarantined 51 people in Manipur following an outbreak of the H5N1 strain of influenza in chickens last month, a senior official said on Friday.

"Since all these people had worked in culling or sanitising operations or monitoring people's health around the affected poultry farm they have to be quarantined and monitored," said Vineet Chawdhry, joint secretary in the health ministry.

Most had complained of being "unwell", he added, but did not say whether any had flu-like symptoms.

All 51 were on Tamiflu, the popular drug to prevent and treat bird flu, as a precaution, the health ministry said.

Hundreds of cullers were involved in killing nearly 300,000 fowl over the past week in Manipur, a state bordering Myanmar that saw two outbreaks of bird flu in chickens in July alone.

The culling, which took place within a 5-km radius around the affected poultry farm near Imphal, ended on Thursday.

Health officials have completed checks of around 235,000 people in the area, but said they would closely monitor the situation.

Remarkable work by the health officials there. Two hundred thousand plus people checked in a handful of days. That's how you rein in the spread of bird flu : fast, efficient health checks and quarantines.

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