M A I N   N E W S

Bird flu claims one life
Two more persons hospitalised
Tribune News Service

Gandhinagar, February 19
Gujarat is on high alert with cases of bird flu reported in Nandurbar district of Maharashtra, bordering the southern part of the state.

According to the state Animal Husbandry and Health authorities, provisional checkposts have been set up all along the Gujarat-Maharashtra and Gujarat-Madhya Pradesh border to monitor the movement of humans as well as poultry and meat products.

According to a UNI report, a 27-year-old poultry farmer of Nandurbar district admitted to a Surat hospital in Gujarat, died on Friday, District Collector, Surat, Vatsala Vasudev said.

Two more persons, a mother and son, were hospitalised in Nandurbar district in Maharashtra. It was being ascertained whether they were suffering from the avian flu, officials said. Eight persons were admitted to a hospital yesterday with symptoms of the disease.

Government sources, however, refrained from confirming the death. Preliminary diagnosis attributed the death to respiratory infection and detailed examination was in progress, Health Department sources said in Surat.

The Navapur-Nandurbar area is the major supplier of poultry products to almost the entire South Gujarat. A complete ban on movement of poultry from the neighbouring states has been imposed and teams of doctors have been rushed from all over the states to carry out checks on poultry farms in Gujarat. Slaughtering of chickens has also begun in certain areas in South Gujarat.

According to Dr N.M. Shah, Deputy Veterinary Director of the state, checkposts have been set up at Kavant and Pherkuva in Vadodara district which borders Madhya Pradesh since these are largely tribal areas where raring of poultry is the main pre-occupation.

About a fortnight ago some migratory birds were found dead in Jamnagar.

The Director, Animal Husbandry, is also camping in Surat to oversee the situation, said D. Kishore Rao, Secretary, Animal Husbandry.

Meanwhile, officials from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases have also reached here.

Of the 12 to 13 lakh birds in Nandurbar district, nearly 2.5 lakh had been culled since last night, official sources added.


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