Thursday, August 02, 2007

India : Outbreak Leads To "Bird Flu Raids" On Tens Of Thousands Of Homes

4 Children Monitored For Signs Of Infection

Four children in Manipur state came into contact with sick, or dead, poultry. They fell ill with fever and are now being monitored. India has been fighting H5N1 outbreaks in poultry in Manipur for weeks.

From Reuters :

The children have been restricted to their homes and are being visited twice a day by medical professionals, said Vineet Chawdhry, joint secretary in the ministry of health.

"We are being extra careful," Chawdhry said, adding that throat swabs and blood samples taken from the children had been sent to a federal laboratory, where tests for the H5N1 strain of bird flu will be carried out.

The children live within a 5-km (3-mile) radius of a small poultry farm where more than 130 chickens died last month from the H5N1 virus.

Health officials have checked more than 235,000 people around the affected farm since the weekend for flu symptoms, while veterinary workers have culled a similar number of birds in the remote northeastern state.

India had two major flare-ups of bird flu in its western region last year.

Manipur neighbors Myanmar, which has battled several outbreaks of bird flu in chickens this year, including one reported last week.

From Daily India :
Over 45,000 homes in Manipur's East Imphal District have been searched for signs of bird flu, and according to the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, 163 persons are suffering from respiratory-related symptoms, but not from bird flu.

The Department said that a Central Rapid Response Team is countering the outbreak of avian influenza in Chingmeirong Village, and as of now, 171 cullers are under the cover of Tamiflu. Their health status is being monitored.

The medical teams consisting of 680 health personnel in total have conducted house-to-house active surveillances in Luwangsangbam, Koirengei, Lamlongei, Ahalup, Matai, Kontha area, Achanbigei, Heingang, Laipham Siphai, Paomei Colony, Sangakpam, Khurai area and Kairang area.

Out of the 45,032 houses surveyed, 935 were having backyard poultry. A total of 2,35,161 persons were covered.

Illegal bird smuggling from Myanmar is being blamed for the H5N1 virus entering India.

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