Seizure of 15 dead birds creates some panic
THE DISTRICT administration on Sunday moved on a war footing to prevent the arrival of the H5N1 (avian flu) virus into the City, even as the seizure of 15 dead birds by municipal authorities en route to a poultry haat at Dhar Road sparked panic among carnivores.india Updated: Feb 20, 2006 14:29 IST
THE DISTRICT administration on Sunday moved on a war footing to prevent the arrival of the H5N1 (avian flu) virus into the City, even as the seizure of 15 dead birds by municipal authorities en route to a poultry haat at Dhar Road sparked panic among carnivores.
All entry points to the district were sealed to ensure that no poultry animals or produce reached the City via road. Excreta samples of migratory birds were collected from Sirpur, Bilawali and Kishanpura lakes and sent to the High Security Animal Disease Lab (HSADL) at Bhopal to check if the virus may have arrived through overland routes.
Divisional Commissioner Ashok Das has appealed to residents not to panic and assured that all possible steps would be taken to ensure that the bird flu virus was kept out. In a statement, Das informed that two district-level teams, the Avian Flu Task Force and the Rapid Response Team had been formed to combat the H5N1 virus.
The first has been mandated with the task of keeping the virus out of the City while the latter, comprising Public Health experts and microbiologists from MGM Medical College, aims at tackling the worst case scenario of human infection.
As a precautionary measure, the Veterinary Department suspended the leave of all doctors until further notice. Meanwhile, round-the-clock control rooms have been set up by district administration officials in neighbouring Barwani and Khargone districts, both of which adjoin Maharashtra from where the first bird flu cases were reported yesterday.
Ten joint Veterinary Department and Indore Municipal Corporation teams fanned out to the 160-plus poultry farms across the district and are keeping a strict watch on the approximately four-lakh chickens that reside therein.
Divisional Commissioner Ashok Das held several rounds of meetings with top officials of Veterinary, Animal Husbandry, Forest, Fisheries, Health and Public Health Engineering Departments.
The district administration has formed two district-level teams to combat the H5N1 virus. The first, termed the Avian Flu Task Force has been mandated with the responsibility of devising ways to ensure that the virus is kept out of the City and is headed by in-charge Collector Rameshwar Gupta.
Joint Director (Veterinary Department) R S Shrimal, District Hospital Superintendent, Civil Surgeon, Deputy Director Public Health Engineering, Poultry and Farm Development Officer and DFO Indore are the other members.
Officials present at the meeting assured the Commissioner that there was very little chance of the virus reaching the City as the migratory season of birds was over and the land routes were effectively sealed.
Section 144 in Barwani: Barwani District Collector Arun Tiwari on Saturday unveiled a hitherto unknown weapon in the fight against avian flu - Section 144.
The CrPC clause, chiefly recognised as prohibiting assembly of more than five persons to maintain law and order, has been used by Tiwari to prevent ingress and exit of poultry animals and eggs from the district.
Barwani, along with Burhanpur, Khargone and Khandwa is one of the four districts adjoining Maharashtra from where the first bird flu cases were reported on Saturday.
The proximity had sparked fears of birds infected with N5H1, the virus that causes the flu, finding their way to poultry farms or butcheries in the State. “As there is no legal provision for compelling or preventing people to do something, except under the CrPC, we decided to impose Section 144 to ensure that poultry animals are neither brought into nor taken out of the district,” said Tiwari.
No need to panic
JUST BECAUSE you had chicken over the weekend there’s no reason to think you’re dead meat. The H5N1 virus, which causes avian flu, is very sensitive and destroyed even by moderate heating (60-70 degree Celsius), making it nearly impossible for anyone to be infected by eating chicken.
Avoid poultry farms and chicken pens. If you think you may have come in contact with an infected bird wash your hands thoroughly with a strong detergent as this, too, kills the virus.
Breathlessness, droopy or bluish comb (the red crest atop the head), swelling on face and neck, watery eyes and a loss of appetite are the chief symptoms of the avian flu virus. Immediately inform the Veterinary Department’s 24-hour control room (2380967) or Joint Director R S Shrimal at 94253-16849 if a poultry animal displays any of these.
Symptoms in humans
WHEN TRANSMITTED to humans, H5N1 mimics the characteristics of ordinary viral fever. Breathlessness, fever with shivering and discharge of mucus through the nose are the most commonly reported symptoms.
Seized birds disease-free
RUMOUR MONGERS had a filed day after Indore Municipal Corporation veterinarians Dr Prashant Tiwari and Dr D Gautam discovered 15 dead birds among a flock being carted to a poultry haat at Jawahar Tekri on Dhar Road. However, in a statement issued late on Sunday evening the district administration clarified that upon examination the birds were discovered to be disease-free and probably died due to heat.
The IMC team, which was on its way to the haat, noticed the jeep (MP-09-KD-5938) and stopped it to inspect the birds. Upon examining the chickens the IMC officials found that of the 80 birds 15 were dead and suspected the others of suffering from chronic respiratory disorder. The birds were seized and sent to the lab at Pathar Godaam where they were discovered to be disease free after examination.
First Published: Feb 20, 2006 14:29 IST