Avian flu up in India

23-01-2012 | | |

The highly pathogenic avian influenza, H5N1 has shown itself once again, with two outbreaks in poultry farms in the state of Odisha (formerly Orissa) and one in a state run farm in the state of Meghalaya, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reports. Both states are in east India.

Mr Rudhra Gangadaran, secretary to the government of India, department of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries of the ministry of agriculture, has reported two ongoing outbreaks in the state of Odisha and one in the state of Meghalaya.

The national high security animal disease laboratory in Bhopal confirmed that birds from the two backyard poultry farms tested positive for the two polymerase chain reaction tests and for the virus isolation test.

The epidemiological investigation is still ongoing, with closure of poultry markets in a 10-km radius of the outbreak sites, and prohibition of transport, which are standard procedures.

So far 31,921 birds have been destroyed from the two outbreak sites in Odisha.

In Meghalaya (under Bhutan, site of an H5N1 outbreak over the New Year) similar quarantine restrictions have been put in place, and 4,666 birds have been destroyed at the government-run farm.

Epidemiological investigations are still ongoing.