lakhs of birds have been found dead in the last 10 days. At least four states – Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, and Rajasthan- have confirmed bird flu, sounding an alert as the authorities step up efforts to contain the spread. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are also vigilant after 12,000 ducks died in the last few days in neighboring Kerala. Four lakh poultry birds have died in Haryana’s Panchkula district alone in the last 10 days.
In the northern part of the country, Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana, close to Himachal Pradesh, have also started investigating samples amid the scare. Bird flu or avian flu viruses can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. The disease is “zoonotic” but infection in humans has not been reported in India, according to the government; 12 epicenters in four affected states have been identified and the center has issued an advisory. A control room has been set up in Delhi to monitor the situation.
Union minister for animal husbandry, fisheries and dairying Giriraj Singh advises people on safe ways to consume meat, poultry products amid Avian Influenza outbreak in Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Rajasthan.
Cook eggs and meat fully, the Union minister said seeking to allay fears about transmission of the zoonotic disease from poultry to humans.
“In some places, there have been reports of migratory and wild birds dying from bird flu. Cook the meat and eggs completely before eating. There is nothing to worry about. All possible help is being given and states have been alerted,” Mr. Singh tweeted in Hindi.
Lakhs of birds, mostly migratory, have died across India in the last 10 days. While some of the affected states have started culling birds, regulated the sale of poultry and related products, their neighbors are keeping a check on inter-state movement, especially in the border districts. To contain the spread, the central government has issued an advisory and set up a control room in New Delhi to monitor the situation.
India has seen multiple spells of bird flu starting 2006, each becoming the cause of severe losses to poultry farmers as sale of meat and eggs takes a hit. Experts have maintained that a bird-to-human spread of the viral disease is only possible if the meat is not fully cooked.