Avian influenza can be transmitted to humans, no case in India yet: Minister
Avian influenza, the bird flu that has killed nearly 25,000 birds across the country, can also be transmitted to humans but no such case has been reported so far in India, Union minister of state, animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries Sanjeev Balyan, told news agency ANI on Wednesday. Balyan said there is no treatment for the infection and that all the states have been advised to exercise preventive measures that include restriction of movement of birds and proper disposal of birds.
“Infection in humans is not yet reported in India though the disease is zoonotic. There is no direct evidence that AI viruses can be transmitted to humans via the consumption of contaminated poultry products,” the Union ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying said in a statement. Implementing management practices that incorporate bio security principles, personal hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection protocols, as well as cooking and processing standards, are effective means of controlling the spread of the AI viruses, the ministry statement added.
The AI influenza has so far been reported from five states —Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Kerala—Balyan said. “In Haryana, it has been transmitted to poultry as well, otherwise the virus is found in wild and migratory birds,” he added.
The animal husbandry ministry has asked states for timely collection and submission of samples for confirmation and further surveillance and intensification of surveillance plan. Meanwhile, the department of animal husbandry and dairying has also set up a control room in New Delhi to keep watch on the situation and to take stock on a daily basis of preventive and control measures undertaken by state authorities.