Bird flu confirmed in 5 more districts of Maharashtra
Bird flu has spread to five more districts – Thane, Yavatmal, Gondia, Ahmednagar and Hingoli – taking the total number of districts in the state with confirmed cases of the Avian influenza in poultry birds to 11. Within these 11 districts, there are 30 places with confirmed cases of Avian influenza.
On Thursday, Bhopal’s ICAR-National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (ICAR-NIHSAD), which is the nodal body for testing bird flu cases, confirmed the flu as the cause behind the poultry bird deaths in the five districts.
The central laboratory has also confirmed the H5N8 strain of Avian influenza as a cause behind the death of a duck at Wardha district, state animal husbandry commissioner Sachindra Pratap Singh said.
The number of bird flu deaths is in the state is also rising. On Thursday, 932 bird deaths were reported owing to the flu in different districts, pushing the toll to 13,792 across Maharashtra.
The state has so far culled 38,658 poultry birds, 35146 eggs and 52,684kg of feed to contain the spread of avian influenza, a press release by the animal husbandry department stated.
“The district administrations will start culling poultry birds within the one-km vicinity of the infected areas from tomorrow, following guidelines issued by the Centre,” Singh said.
The central government has also informed the state government that avian influenza virus cannot survive if food is cooked or boiled at a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius in three seconds.
The press release further stated that well-cooked meat and boiled eggs are safe for human consumption.
The government has appealed to citizens against consuming raw or half-cooked poultry meat or eggs. Officials have also directed chicken shop owners to strictly wear gloves and masks, follow stringent hygiene practices and maintain social physical distancing norms.