India: Action plan for bird flu
After two outbreaks of bird flu in the last two years,
India has drawn-up an action plan to fight avian flu should it break out
Non-pharmaceutical steps will be vital as part of the plan to curtail spread
of the disease. For example, schools and markets would be shut down and the
public would be discouraged from gathering in large numbers in order to lower
the chance of transmission of the H5N1 virus.
Quarantine will be imposed on individuals and
their relatives showing symptoms of the virus.
50% of the 70,000 Indian veterinarians have already received training from
the department of animal husbandry in handling poultry during such an emergency.
Unusual mortality of birds is currently being closely monitored.
In addition, biosecurity is being stepped up with Bio Safety Level (BSL)-III
labs being established in Jalandhar, Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune and the
North-East, to test animal samples for the H5N1 virus.
Stocks of 10 lakh courses of
Tamiflu with a shelf life of five years have been built up which are intended
for rapid containment at the beginning of a potential pandemic.
The department of animal husbandry has reserved 40 million does of poultry
vaccine - which will be used should the country decide to vaccinate its poultry.
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