India bird flu-free

15-08-2006 | |

India has reported to the World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE) that it has regained its status as an avian influenza-free country, seven months after the initial outbreak.

“The final report on this matter was sent by the department of animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries to the OIE on 11 August,” Indian agriculture ministry said on Saturday.

Indian authorities hope that their flu-free status will help to boost sales and exports of poultry meat and eggs.

On February 18, India notified the OIE of an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza caused by the H5N1 virus in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

India had several more outbreaks of bird flu up until April 18 in three out of its 29 states in the western and central regions of the country.

Final culling operations were completed on April 27 and the disinfection process was concluded on May 7.

“There has been no further outbreak of avian influenza in India since April 18,” the OIE was informed.

According to the OIE rules, bird flu-free status can be regained if the disease has not returned within three months.

Since the outbreak of avian flu in the country, nearly 67,000 samples have been tested at the High Security Disease Laboratory in Bhopal. All samples collected from the outbreak areas in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have been tested.

Surveillance around the areas of outbreaks and in the rest of the country has shown no evidence of the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza.