Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Bird flu has subsided in India - top official

Bird flu has subsided in India with no new cases reported since March, the top official in charge of prevention efforts told Reuters on Wednesday.

The H5N1 strain of avian influenza, which has killed more than 125 people worldwide since 2003, was first diagnosed in India in February when thousands of birds were found dead in Navapur in the western state of Maharashtra.

Within weeks it had spread to some nearby areas including across the state border in Gujarat. About 1 million birds were culled in a radius of around 10 km (six miles) from the affected areas. No human infection has yet been reported.

Since the March outbreak there has been no incidence of bird flu in the country, said P.M.A. Hakeem, secretary of the department of animal husbandry and dairying, the central body dealing with the crisis.

“We feel that it has subsided. Of course, the onset of summer has also helped in containing this,” Hakeem said.

Apart from the affected pockets of Maharashtra and Gujarat, samples collected from all the other states where there was a suspicion of avian influenza had tested negative, he added.

“In the practical sense we are free because there have been no cases in the past two-and-a-half months,” he said.

Source for this avian influenza news article

Posted by john T. on 06/07 at 09:45 AM
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