New Delhi (NVI): The Centre has identified 12 epicenters of the bird flu outbreak in four states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala — after confirmation of positive samples of Avian Influenza from ICAR-NIHSAD lab in Bhopal and issued guidelines to contain the disease and prevent its further spread.
Hundreds of birds have been found dead in these states, prompting the Centre to issue alert to states to monitor health of birds in forest areas and near water bodies.
According to the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, in Rajasthan, crows were found dead in Baran, Kota and Jhalawar districts. Similarly, in Madhya Pradesh, crows have succumbed to the virus in Mandsaur, Indore and Malwa districts.
In Himachal Pradesh, hundreds of migratory birds have been found dead in Kangra district. In Kerala, poultry-ducks have been found dead in Kottayam and Allapuzha.
Accordingly, an advisory has been issued each to the States of Rajasthan and MP on January 1 so as to avoid further spread of the infection, the Ministry said in a statement.
As per the information received from State of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, control measures are being taken as per the guidelines of National Action Plan of Avian Influenza, it said.
Another advisory has been issued on January 5 to Himachal Pradesh where the State has been advised to take measures so as to avoid further spread of disease to poultry. As per the report received, Kerala has already initiated control and containment operations from January 5 at epicentres and the culling process is in operation, the Ministry said.
Apart from that, the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying has also set up a control room in New Delhi to keep watch on the situation and to take stock on daily basis of preventive and control measures undertaken by State authorities.
The measures suggested to the affected States to contain the disease and prevent further spread as per the Action Plan on Avian Influenza include strengthening the biosecurity of poultry farms, disinfection of affected areas, proper disposal of dead birds/carcasses, timely collection and submission of samples for confirmation and further surveillance, intensification of surveillance plan as well as the general guidelines for prevention of disease spread from affected birds to poultry and human.
Coordination with forest department for reporting any unusual mortality of birds was also suggested to the States. The other states were also requested to keep a vigil on any unusual mortality amongst birds and to report immediately to take necessary measures.
In another development, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has deployed multi-disciplinary teams to Avian Influenza affected Alappuzha and Kottayam districts in Kerala, and Panchkula District in Haryana.