India “Surrounded” by Countries with Bird-Flu.

Mr Naresh Dayal, the Federal Health Secretary in the Government of India, worries about  the possibility of the Bird-Flu virus mutating in to a human to human virus.

“Worldwide, human-to-human transmission is feared. We have to be able to tackle that if, God forbid, it starts,” he said in an interview with Reuters.

Mr Dayal was very concerned about the fact that the counties neighbouring India seemed to have “uncontrolled” outbreaks of Bird-Flu.

“We are surrounded by countries with uncontrolled outbreaks in poultry and birds,” Dayal told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. “And further, there is Vietnam and Indonesia.”                                              

Indonesia and Vietnam — both within a couple of hours flying distance from some Indian cities — have reported human deaths from bird flu this year.

Indonesia says it has 83 confirmed bird flu deaths since 2003, the highest for any nation.

In addition, Myanmar as well as Bangladesh, another two of India’s neighbour countries, have reported cases of Bird-Flu. 

India has stepped up vigil on its borders with Myanmar as well as Bangladesh, said Dayal, adding that New Delhi had offered to help its two neighbours fight the disease.

“We are willing to provide help to Bangladesh. It is also in our own interest,” he said, adding India was also ready to help Myanmar fight the virus if requested.

New Delhi has reported no human case from its three major outbreaks in poultry since 2006, but health officials are worried about its northeast region, which also borders China, where 16 human deaths have been reported since 2003.

Authorities are increasing the number of laboratories that can test for bird flu in humans.

Besides the three existing facilities, New Delhi will set up a new laboratory in Assam as well as Kolkata, Dayal said.

Sources:

http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idINIndia-28974620070814

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6392773.stm

http://www.oxfam.org.au/world/asia/asiamap.gif

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

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