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Opinion

The center brings teams to Kerala, Haryana affected by avian influenza as a precaution

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The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has deployed multidisciplinary teams to states affected by avian influenza as a precaution, authorities said Wednesday.

The Union Ministry of Health said in a statement that the teams have been deployed to the Panchkula district of Haryana and the Alappuzha and Kottayam districts of Kerala.

“The two multidisciplinary teams made up of experts from the National Center for Disease Control, the National Institute of Virology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi, and Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, have been sent to the districts affected by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on January 4, 2021 to assist the State Health Departments in the implementation of the Avian Influenza containment plan of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, ”the statement said.

“Instructions have already been issued to states in this regard,” said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

The measures taken by the ministry are precautionary since so far no cases of influenza have been detected in humans. “So far, no human cases of avian influenza have been reported. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare continues to strictly monitor the evolution of the scenario, “said the ministry statement.

The Additional Director General (Wildlife) of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Soumitra Dasgupta, said states have been asked to inform the center of any new cases of flu. “We have mainly received a large number of positive H5N1 cases in Himachal Pradesh. Sporadic cases in poultry have been reported in parts of Kerala, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Reports come in every day. At HP, the virus has been found in a large number of rod-headed geese. All chief secretaries and chief wildlife keepers have been alerted and asked to send reports immediately, “Dasgupta said.

The department of animal husbandry reported on January 4 the detection of avian influenza (H5N8) in samples of ducks found dead in the Alappuzha and Kottayam districts of Kerala.

A similar report of bird flu was received from poultry samples from the Panchkula district of Haryana, after which the Ministry of Health convened a meeting of experts to monitor the situation.

The first batch of high-level teams was dispatched to the affected states on January 4.

Other states, including Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, have similarly reported the incidence of avian influenza, which involves crows and migratory birds.

Under the protocol, the department of animal husbandry has issued alerts to further intensify surveillance to detect any cases in poultry.

The Environment Ministry had written to the chief secretaries of all the states on Tuesday to direct them to set up state-level monitoring committees for the outbreak.

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