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Posted at: Sep 14, 2016, 7:17 PM; last updated: Sep 14, 2016, 8:52 PM (IST)

India declared free from bird flu, surveillance to continue

India declared free from bird flu, surveillance to continue
In this file photo taken on January 16, 2016, poultry farm workers cull chickens during after an outbreak of avian flu in Tripura. — AFP

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 14

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has declared India free from avian influenza (H5N1). As perofficials from the Department of Animal Husbandry, India had notified outbreak of avian influenza (H5N1) on May 9, 2016, at Humnabad in Karnataka’s Bidar district. 

There has been no further outbreak reported in the country thereafter following which India was declared free from bird flu from September 5.

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Control measures adopted in the radius of 1 km around the outbreak location included stamping out of entire poultry population, including destruction of eggs, feed, litter and other infected materials, restriction on movement of poultry and poultry products to and from the area of outbreak, disinfection and cleaning up of infected premises and the Post Operation Surveillance Plan (POSP) from June 6, 2016.

Surveillance was carried out throughout the country. Surveillance around the areas of the outbreak since completion of the operation included culling, disinfection and clean-up.

Post the surveillance the state has shown no evidence of presence of avian influenza. India has declared itself free from Avian Influenza (H5N1) from September 5, 2016 and notified the same to OIE. 

However, the Centre has asked states to continue surveillance especially in the vulnerable areas bordering infected countries and in areas visited by migratory birds.

Notably, around two years back in 2014 there was an outbreak of avian influenza in captive ducks and geese at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh also. 

A highly contagious viral disease, bird flu is caused by extremely variable viruses which are widespread in several species of food-producing birds like chicken, ducks, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl, pet birds and also wild waterfowl. 

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