Precautionary measures stepped up | india | Hindustan Times
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Precautionary measures stepped up

THE DISTRICT administration today declared that the situation was normal even as precautionary measures have been stepped up against avian influenza virus (H5N1) in the region.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2006 00:13 IST

THE DISTRICT administration today declared that the situation was normal even as precautionary measures have been stepped up against avian influenza virus (H5N1) in the region.

“We have no reports of H5N1 virus in the poultry farms after surveillance was undertaken for early identification of the disease. The situation is absolutely normal, but we are cautious,” Additional Collector Rameshwar Gupta remarked while addressing a press conference at MY Hospital auditorium this morning. Medical and veterinary experts were also present on the occasion.

He said the joint surveillance teams have been asked to focus on poultry farms that are a main source for infection. Adding that poultry farm staff has been told to take all possible precautions, he said incinerators at Indore Municipal Corporation, MY Hospital and Choithram Hospital would be used for burning the birds, if such a situation arose.

IMC Chief Health Officer Dr A K Puranik said that municipal health department has made 14 challans against hotels and undertaken inspection of 26 restaurants and 24 poultry farms in last 24 hours.

He informed that the owners have been asked to serve fresh chickens that have been cooked above 70 degree Celsius. He added that eight dead birds recovered from Dhar Road yesterday were incinerated and IMC would adopt the same method to destroy the infected birds if traced.

“The avian flu virus is fragile, which gets destroyed in the temperature of over 70 degree Celsius and Indian meat cooking requires 110-150 degree Celsius, so there is no need to panic,” he added.

Responding to a query, Veterinary Department Joint Director Dr R S Shrimal said that there was adequate stock of anti-H5N1 vaccine in the district and fresh stock is expected to arrive within a day or two. He informed that the virus takes three days to develop fully in a bird.


Special vigil at water bodies
WATER BODIES at Gandhi Sagar (Mandsaur), Indira Sagar (Khandwa) and Omkareshwar (Khandwa) are being monitored exclusively by staff of Forest Department since these places are bordering Maharashtra, where there is high risk of infection from the bird flu virus.

At these three places, there is no intervention of district administration and the areas are near Omkareshwar National Park. If information of any dead bird is received here, a veterinary team would be informed and droppings of the bird would be kept in a polythene bag at fixed temperature of 25 degrees Celsius to prevent any changes from taking place.

As part of the exercise to trace bird flu virus, eight samples of bird excreta were collected by the team of Forest Department from Sirpur Talab, Bilawali Talab and Yashwant Sagar during the wee hours yesterday, but in future Forest Department staff would not collect bird excreta or dead bird since handling of sample requires technical expertise. The staff will instead inform the veterinary team.

Talking to Hindustan Times, Indore Wildlife Conservator R K Gupta said that Forest Department staff would only give information of the sample, since samples are highly contagious and experts were required for their collection. Sample collection work would be done by State Animal Disease Research Laboratory, he said.

Gupta added that water bodies in forest areas where there is any remote possibility of arrival of migratory bird, inventory position of the birds is maintained and the data is being collected by Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), who will give information to the veterinary team.

Indore Divisional Forest Officer O P Choudhary has declared high alert in forest division, and at places where there is possibility of finding birds, staff has been attached especially for water bodies like Choral Dam (Mhow), Moral Dam (Mhow) and Phuta Talab (Manpur) as these areas are inside forest.

Choudhary said that migration of birds was only local and chances of bird flu were remote as birds are not coming from outside. Water bodies outside forest areas where Forest Department is assisting district administration in tracing the killer virus are Yeshwant Sagar, Sirpur Talab, Bilawali Talab, Banedia Talab and Kishanpura Talab.

Samples collected yesterday morning by Forest staff will be sent to Joint Director Veterinary Services, which will then be sent to Director High Security Animal Disease Lab, Bhopal, for examination. Examined samples will be sent to State and Central Governments.


‘No long-term impact on soya industry’
SOYABEAN INDUSTRY, which is supplying soyabean meal to poultry industry, is unlikely to be affected in medium to long-term by the bird flu scare.

Soyabean Processors Association of India (SOPA) chairman Rajesh Agrawal said here in a statement that, however, there might be postponement of demand by the poultry industry temporarily, in case bird flu spreads to larger areas.

“In our view, if bird flu is contained or restricted to only some villages, it would not have much impact on the poultry industry and various suppliers of feed ingredients. Only if the flu spreads widely across the country, the domestic poultry and feed suppliers are likely to be affected,” he said.

Soyabean industry supplies more than 50 per cent of its soyabean meal to international market and there is good commitment for exports for next two months, hence the industry does not feel there is any cause of worry or panic.

On yearly basis also, the sales of soyabean industry were not likely to drop, as it has been observed that birds can be replaced within 45 days.