Avian influenza in West Bengal, no humans affected

Indian Department of Animal Husbandry has notified fresh poultry deaths in Jiaganj and Raghunathganj-II blocks of Murshidabad district of West Bengal on 9th_March, 2008 which has been confirmed as H5 infection of bird flu.

About 90 birds [broiler chicken] died in Budhra Village of Jiaganj block on 5th_March, 2008. The present epicenter is about 50 Km from the nearest epicenter in Navagram block of Murshidabad.

About 100 birds in backyard poultry in Nayamukundpur village in Raghunathganj-II block died on 5th_March, 2008 and the samples have tested positive for H5. Naya Mukundpur is about 10-12 Km from Luxmizola which is the nearest epicenter of the last outbreak.

The State Government has been requested to institute the containment operations as per the contingency plan. Other States bordering West Bengal have been alerted. The Joint Monitoring Group under the Chairmanship of Director General of Health Services reviewed the situation.

Active event based human surveillance started yesterday in Jiaganj. There are 19 villages in 0-3 Km. A population of 19849 has been put under active surveillance. Five cases of fever/ URI have been detected. In the hospital 24 fever/URI cases have reported of which one has been admitted. None of them have exposure history to infected poultry. 104 Animal Husbandry workers involved in culling activities have been medically examined and are under chemoprophylaxis. 623 health personnel are involved in surveillance activities.

The active surveillance in Raghunathganj-II has started. Two central Rapid Response Teams are being deputed to the affected areas to supervise the containment operations. The situation is being monitored.

Source: Press Information Bureau, India

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