A huge sigh of relief went through a Fifth of the entire human race, as the four children suspected of a Bird-Flu infection were declared free of the virus in India.
Throat swab and tissue samples of the four boys (all under 14) had been sent for testing, but no sign of bird flu was found.
“They are negative,” said Vineet Chawdhry, a joint secretary in India’s health ministry.
Thousands of people in Manipur state in India’s northeast were also checked by health officials after the outbreak of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in chickens on a small poultry farm.
However, the authorities have quarantined a further 51 people also from Manipur.
“Since all these people had worked in culling or sanitising operations or monitoring people’s health around the affected poultry farm they have to be quarantined and monitored,” said Vineet Chawdhry.
Most had complained of being “unwell”, he added, but did not say whether any had flu-like symptoms. All 51 were on Tamiflu, the popular drug to prevent and treat bird flu, as a precaution, the health ministry said.
The culling, which took place within a 5-km (3-mile) radius around the affected poultry farm near Imphal, capital of Manipur, ended on Thursday.
Health officials have completed checks of around 235,000 people in the area, but said they would closely monitor the situation.
Filed under: Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Avian Flu, Bird Flu, Bird-Flu leadership Summit, Bird-Flu-Free, Bollywood, British, Chickens, Flu Summit, H5N1, H7N2, Human Bird Flu, Human-To-Human H5N1, Imphal, India, Indonesia, Infection, Influenza, Manipur, Mizoram, Mutation, Myanmar, Nagaland, Pandemic, pathogen, Politics, Poultry, Sharron Davies, Singapore, Tamiflu, Tripura, Turkeys, UK, UNICEF, USA, vaccine, Vietnam, Virus, WHO |