Hyderabad: The Department of Animal Husbandry has issued advisories to the affected States so as to avoid further spread of disease. So far, the disease has been confirmed in Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.

Present Situation of Influenza in Country

After confirmation of Avian Influenza positive samples in poultry (two poultry farms) of Panchkula district, Haryana, State has deployed 9 Rapid Response teams and control and containment operation is underway in both the epicentres. Samples of crow/wild birds have been confirmed for Avian Influenza (H5) from Surat district of Gujarat and Sirohi district of Rajasthan. Further, reports of unusual deaths of 86 crows and 2 egrets were received from Kangra district (Himachal Pradesh). Reports of unusual mortality of wild birds have also been received from Nahan, Bilaspur and Mandi (Himachal Pradesh) and samples have been sent to the designated laboratory for testing.

Test reports of the samples sent to the designated laboratory from Delhi, Maharashtra are still awaited. Further, no samples have been confirmed positive in wild birds from Balod district, Chhattisgarh which were tested earlier.

Control and containment

Control and containment have been completed in both the affected districts of Kerala and Post Operational Surveillance Programme guidelines have been issued to the State of Kerala.

The central teams formed for monitoring the situation in the affected areas of the country are visiting the affected sites. One of the central teams reached Kerala on January 9, 2021, and is presently monitoring the epicentre sites and conducting the epidemiological investigation. Another central team reached Himachal Pradesh on January 10, 2021, and undertook a survey in the affected areas.

States have been requested to build awareness among the public and avoid the spread of misinformation regarding AI. States/ UTs have been requested to increase surveillance around water bodies, live bird markets, zoos, poultry farms, etc. proper disposal of the carcass, and strengthening of biosecurity in poultry farms.

Zoos responsibility in country

The Centre on Sunday directed zoo managements to submit daily reports to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) till their area is declared free from the disease.

The CZA, under the environment ministry, issued an office memorandum directing the management of all zoos to strengthen surveillance and aviary management.

"In the event of the declaration of the infected area within a zoo, either due to outbreak within the zoo or if the zoo is located within the surveillance zone as notified by central/state government, the officer in charge of the zoo shall submit a daily report to the office of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) till the area is declared free from avian influenza by the competent authority," the memorandum stated.

The CZA also advised that strict hygiene protocols must be maintained in all aviaries and all droppings must be collected, disinfected and disposed of appropriately.

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