Bird Flu Panic In India

The Bird Flu virus is creating a growing sense of panic in India.
For the first time, there is a real sense of fear of the killer virus, not only in the effected states of Bengal and Bihar but all over India.
 The Times Of India Editorial put it this way- An Excerpt:
More than 6,00,000 eggs are piling up in Namakkal, the poultry capital of Tamil Nadu, even as egg prices slide with the fall in demand.
Thousands of broiler chickens are waiting in the wings as poultry entrepreneurs pray for importers to resume buying. The avian flu outbreak in West Bengal has simply devastated the poultry farmer in Tamil Nadu — setting the industry back by over Rs 500 crore — though the distance between the two states is thousands of kilometres and there is absolutely no sign of the virus in the south. Meanwhile, the government of West Bengal — where the H5N1 flu virus has now infected poultry in half the state — is unable to contain the outbreak.

It is wasting precious time sparring with the Centre, which has accused the state government of not doing enough on time.
The West Bengal government must act quickly to contain the outbreak, before it spreads to neighbouring states. Five persons have been quarantined in West Bengal as they have shown symptoms of avian flu, but as yet there are no confirmed cases.

Right now the impact on the poultry industry is much more disconcerting. It is losing out on huge export orders to countries in the Gulf among others. Fear of a possible pandemic is turning consumers away from chicken and eggs.
This is a pity since they are a relatively affordable source of protein. Poultry exporters say that they want the central government to divide the country zone-wise so that there is a clear understanding of which parts are affected and which are not. Zoning would help producers label their products.

This proposal should be implemented. Zoning and labelling would help revive exports somewhat. The World Health Organisation says this is the worst outbreak of H5N1 virus in India till date.
But the infrastructure and laboratory facilities to enable documentation, testing, detection and research in both animal/bird and human samples are inadequate.
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One Response

  1. Spread of avian flu by drinking water

    Transmission of avian flu by direct contact to infected poultry is an unproved assumption from the WHO. Infected poultry can everywhere contaminate the drinking water. All humans have contact to drinking water. Special in cases of local water supplies this pathway can explain small clusters in households. In hot climates/tropics the flood-related influenza is typical after extreme weather and floods. Virulence of Influenza virus depends on temperature and time. If young and fresh H5N1 contaminated water from low local wells, cisterns, tanks, rain barrels or rice fields is used for water supply water temperature for infection may be higher (24°C: virulence of influenza viruses 2 days) as in temperate climates with older water from central water supplies (7°C: virulence of influenza viruses 14 days).

    Dipl.-Ing. Wilfried Soddemann
    soddemann-aachen@t-online.de
    http://www.dugi-ev.de/information.html

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