With reports of bird flu outbreak caused by H5N1 virus in 10 states including Kerala, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Bengal government has also sounded an alert across the state today.
The state health department headed by the chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee has directed chief medical officers of health (CMOH) in districts and Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to keep watch on patients showing symptoms avian influenza as well bird flu.
“Bird flu infections are hardly seen among human beings. But at this trying time of Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the country we have alerted health administrations in districts and urban local bodies to intensify surveillance on any report of bird flu infections caused by H5N1 virus. There has been no report of bird flu either among birds or human beings so far in our state,” Dr Ajay Chakraborty, director of health services (DHS), told The Statesman today.
“We have also directed the CMOHs in districts and Kolkata civic body to coordinate with the state animal resource and development department for bird flu surveillance system. Health department has already held meetings with district health administration strengthen the monitoring system,” Dr Chakraborty said.
Sources in the ARD department said that all districts have been asked to report immediately if any report of deaths of birds and chickens in abnormal numbers happens anywhere in the state.
Samples of carcasses would be sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) laboratory in Bhopal for bird flu virus confirmation.
More than a decade ago there had a bird flu epidemic in several districts like Murshidabad, Malda Birbhum etc affecting poultry industries of Rs 500 acres. H5N1 is the most form of bird flu and it’s deadly to birds and easily affect humans and other animals that come in contact with a carrier.