Centre issues guidelines to states, zoo authorities on containment of Avian flu

| Updated: Oct 22, 2016 03:08 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct. 21 (ANI): The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, the Union Agriculture Ministry, has issued the necessary guidelines to the state government and the zoo authorities on control and containment of the infection, and has urged the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to issue advisories to all the wildlife/ bird sanctuaries in the country to be on alert and take necessary actions for prevention of the disease. The guidelines came in the wake of the National Institute for High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, confirming that the samples of wild birds died at National Zoological Park (NZP) in Delhi were tested positive for H5 Avian influenza virus. These samples were earlier tested positive for Influenza A virus at the Northern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (NRDDL), Jalandhar. In a press statement issued here, the department said it has issued an advisory to the Director, Animal Husbandry, Delhi Administration, and the Director, NZP, and requested them to send the report to the department. On October 18, the NZP informed that the mortality was among the wild birds and not the captive birds. The mortality started on October 14; between October 14 and 17, there was mortality of nine birds - five Rosy pelican, three ducks and one Painted Stork. This department has requested NIHSAD, Bhopal, and the NRDDL to investigate the outbreak thoroughly to determine the source of infection so that the zoo authorities across the country can implement suitable strategy to prevent the ingress of the disease to captive birds. The same is under progress, it said. The Director, Animal Husbandry, Delhi, visited zoo on October 18 and deputed his team for carrying out action/surveillance there. On October 19, Joint Commissioner (LH) and Assistant Commissioner from the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries visited the NZP and had a discussion with Director, NZP, and also participated in the meeting along with the officials of NCDC, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Delhi, Department of Health etc. On October 19, NIHSAD has confirmed that the virus subtype H5N8 infection in wild birds, which is a new subtype being reported for the first time in the country; H5N8 was reported from 11 countries during 2015 and four countries, including India, during 2016. On October 21, NIHSAD informed that the samples were also received from Gandhi Zoological Park, Gwalior, and were tested positive for H5N8 AIV. As per OIE, the avian Influenza disease in wild/ migratory birds does not affect the status of the country; hence, there are no trade implications. Till now, no human infections with H5N8 has been established anywhere in the world. However, necessary precautions are to be undertaken while handling sick/ dead birds and contaminated material during control and containment operations. (ANI)