The Manipur government has officially confirmed outbreak of bird flu in the State.
- Culling of the chickens, ducks and other fowls will start soon in 1 km radius of Imphal and the operation will gradually be widened to a radius of 10 km which is regarded as the affected zone for the time being.
- The government will pay adequate compensation to the owners and chicken farmers.
Avian influenza (AI), commonly called bird flu, is an infectious viral disease of birds often causing no apparent signs of illness.
- AI viruses can sometimes spread to domestic poultry and cause large-scale outbreaks of serious disease.
- Some of these AI viruses have also been reported to cross the species barrier and cause disease or sub clinical infections in humans and other mammals.
Effects on Humans:
- Most avian influenza viruses do not infect humans; however some, such as A(H5N1) and A(H7N9), have caused serious infections in people.
- The majority of human cases of A(H5N1) and A(H7N9) infection have been associated with direct or indirect contact with infected live or dead poultry.
- There is no evidence that the disease can be spread to people through properly cooked food.
- Controlling the disease in animals is the first step in decreasing risks to humans.
- Initial symptoms include high fever, usually with a temperature higher than 38°C, and other influenza-like symptoms
- (cough or sore throat).
- abdominal pain,
- chest pain,
- bleeding from the nose and gums have also been reported as early symptoms in some patients.
- Evidence suggests that some antiviral drugs, notably oseltamivir, can reduce the duration of viral replication and improve prospects of survival.
- In cases of severe infection with the A(H5N1) or A(H7N9) virus, clinicians may consider increasing the recommended daily dose or/and the duration of treatment.
- The A(H5N1) virus subtype, a highly pathogenic AI virus, first infected humans in 1997 during a poultry outbreak in Hong Kong SAR, China.
- Since its widespread re-emergence in 2003 and 2004, this avian virus has spread from Asia to Europe and Africa and has become entrenched in poultry in some countries, resulting in millions of poultry infections, several hundred human cases, and many human deaths.
- Outbreaks in poultry have seriously impacted livelihoods, the economy and international trade in affected countries.
- India had declared itself free from H5N1 Avian Influenza (bird flu) as there had been no occurrence of the disease for three months.
Usually, what measures are taken by the Government?
- The entire infected poultry population and its eggs, feed, litter and other infected material will be stamped out within a radius of one km.
- Restrictions on the movement of poultry will be imposed and the affected area will be cleaned up and disinfected.
- Regular surveillance will be maintained, especially in vulnerable areas bordering infected countries and in areas visited by migratory birds.
Sources: The Hindu, WHO, Wiki.