M A I N   N E W S

Little chance of human cases of bird flu: govt

New Delhi, February 22
The government today said there was a distinct possibility of bird flu virus having infected some humans in the affected areas even while stating that no new cases in poultry have been reported.

“Some human samples are under various stages of analysis and we will come to know of it by tomorrow. We do not rule out possibility of humans being affected and it is a distinct possibility,” Union Health Secretary P K Hota told reporters here.

He, however, said even if the human tests are positive it would be a “mild episode”.

MUMBAI: Meanwhile, over two lakh chickens in the 10-km radius of Navapur in Nandurbar district, where bird flu broke out, have been culled till today, Maharashtra Government said.

“Not a single chicken is left either in any of the 49 poultries in the area or outside in the 10-km radius,” Director-General of Information and Public Relations Bhushan Gagrani said.

The number of chickens culled from poultries was 1,95,124 and those outside were 14,669, he said.

“Our teams have now begun the work of destroying litter and excreta of chickens in the area”, Gagrani said.

Authorities have begun disbursing the compensation amount towards culled chickens from today as announced by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, he said, adding so far, Rs 5.60 lakh have been distributed as compensation.

Altogether 151 blood or throat swab samples of persons in the affected areas, who had shown symptoms like fever or cough had been sent to the Pune-based National Institute of Virology, he said adding, report of 94 samples of the 151, sent earlier, was expected tomorrow.

Nine persons in Navapur, who reported similar symptoms after coming in contact with the poultries, had been kept in isolation ward, he said. — PTI


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