The West Bengal government is keeping its fingers crossed. A possible outbreak of bird flu in Kolkata is what it fears now as newer areas get affected almost every day. The Centre included two more districts of Howrah and Purulia in the bird flu map on Friday.
With these two districts, more than half of West Bengal’s 19 districts are in the grip of the virus, which has spread to 11 districts in nine days since January 14. The H5N1 virus has spread its wings in Nalpur in Howrah, 25 km away from the state capital, while the disease was also confirmed in Ramchandrapur village of Santuri block in Purulia.
With samples of dead chickens sent from Mazidpara in Nalpur and Ramchandrapur tested positive for avian influenza, the district administration started the culling process Nalpur on Friday.
Bird flu was also confirmed in several other blocks of Kandi in Murshidabad and Mayureswar in Birbhum. Deaths of many dogs and doves were also reported in bird flu-affected Katwa in Burdwan and Kazigram in Malda. State Animal Resource Development (ARD) officials have collected samples of carcasses for laboratory tests.
A state health department official said, “There is every possibility of human influenza anywhere across the state. We are preparing to fight a human disaster. Today, we asked the Centre to send us about 35 ventilators and several thousand equipment. The Centre has already given us 20 ventilators.”