No case of bird flu (H5N1 virus) is yet reported among people in Haryana, an official spokesman of the health department has said here on Thursday to prevent panic.
The department was taking all precautions that the Union health ministry had prescribed, even though the Union government had issued no advisory or alert yet for the state, the spokesman said. "Bird flu does not travel easily from birds to humans. Migrating water fowl, most probably wild ducks, are its natural carriers that might spread the infection to domestic poultry," he added.
"The transmission to humans is rare but the people who remain in close contact with birds or bird droppings; who clean or pluck infected birds; who swim or bathe in the water contaminated with the droppings of infected birds; and who handle fighting cocks are vulnerable," the spokesman further said.
On the symptoms, he said these were fever (more than 100.4 degree Fahrenheit), cough, acute respiratory distress, shortness of breath, or difficulty in breathing, abdominal pain, headache, muscle ache, diarrhoea, malaise, and running nose.
Isolation ward made at Panchkula GH
As precaution, the Panchkula civil surgeon has orders to carry out surveillance of a local area 3 kilometres from the Sukhna lake in Chandigarh where the virus was detected on Wednesday in dead geese.
Any patient with symptoms will be isolated and investigated for bird flu at Panchkula's General Hospital where a quarantine ward has been created. The civil surgeon and the hospital's medical superintendent have orders to distribute the Tamiflu tablets for the prevention and management of bird flu.
Information, education, and communication efforts are also on for public awareness.