The avian influenza virus, or bird flu, which has killed nearly a hundred birds in the Capital seems to be finally on the decline .
In the past two weeks, no suspected flu deaths have been reported in the Capital, officials of the Delhi government’s animal husbandry department said.
All the spots — a water body in Madipur, Shakti Sthal near Raj Ghat, Delhi zoo, Hauz Khas deer park and district park in Paschim Vihar — from where bird carcasses have been recovered, however, are still under quarantine.
“Samples from the carcasses had tested positive for the H5N8 avian influenza virus. Since the deaths have stopped, tests will be done every 15-30 days and these spots won’t be reopened until we are completely sure these are virus-free,” an official told HT.
The H5N8 avian influenza virus, which was detected in samples of dead birds across Delhi, is not fatal for human beings but could have resulted in a massive bird fatality.
Officials say they would keep a close watch on the quarantined sites, including the Delhi zoo that has been shut for the past one month, before declaring them safe.
“As part of precautionary measures, all government departments were asked to spread lime powder around every water body. Officials have been spraying anti-virus sodium hypochlorite on birds. Those who were handling dead birds were given tamiflu vaccine. Spots where migratory birds gather are being monitored,” the official said.
Close watch has been kept on the Ghazipur chicken market, the sole meat market that caters to the entire city and perhaps the only place from where the virus can enter the food chain. However, test results of samples sent from Ghazipur are negative.
The Delhi government a month back had issued an 11-point health advisory, asking people to eat only completely cooked meat and eggs.