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'Bird flu outbreak in WB more serious'

The WHO warns the bird flu outbreak in West Bengal is more serious than the earlier ones in the country.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2008 19:17 IST

The World Health Organisation on Thursday warned the bird flu outbreak in West Bengal was more serious than the earlier ones in the country.

"More serious risk factors are associated with this current outbreak than previously encountered, including that the affected areas are more widespread and because of proximity to the extended border areas," the WHO said.

On whether the government's response had been adequate, the organisation said "actual implementation may be mixed and this is inevitable and understandable because of the wide range of capacities and logistical constraints in various areas of this large country".

"The action plan for preparedness, control and containment of both animal husbandry department and the health ministry need to be effectively implemented along with public information and education," it said in reply to a written questionnaire.

Agreeing with the observations made by the WHO, Union Animal Husbandry Secretary Pradeep Kumar told reporters in New Delhi, "the scale is much wider than earlier outbreaks in Manipur and Maharashtra".