6 January 2021.
A bird flu alert has been sounded in states, including Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat.
The State wise infection scenario in India:
- As many as 12,000 ducks have died and about 40,000 birds have been culled in the region where bird flu was reported.
- An alert has been sounded to control the deaths of crows in MP after around 400 crows were found dead in 10 districts.
- The testing of dead crow samples at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) has revealed the presence of the H5N8, the avian influenza causing virus, in some samples from Indore and Mandsaur.
- Nearly 53 dead birds were found in the Batwa area of Manavdar tehsil in the Junagarh district on 3 January in Gujarat.A high alert has been sounded.
- Over 1,900 migratory birds have died so far of avian flu in the Kangra district’s Pong Dam area in Himachal. Bird flu virus H5N1 has killed 2,403 migratory birds so far in this area.
- All tourists activities have been suspended.
- Amid a scare of avian flu among the migratory birds in Himachal, the Punjab government has also sounded an alert in the wetlands of Hari-ke-Pattan (Tarn Taran), Keshopur (Gurdaspur), Nangal, Roop Nagar and others.
- Bird flu has been spreading rapidly in various parts of Rajasthan. Initially, on 27 December, an alarm was sounded when 100 birds were found dead in Rajasthan’s Jhalawar district.
- Hundreds of poultry birds have died at Haryana’s Raipur Rani. The authorities have confirmed that so far no avian flu symptoms have been found among the birds.
- However, the officials are awaiting the lab reports from Jalandhar.
Karnatka and UP have also sounded alert in view of the bird flu spread.
What is Avian Influenza or Bird Flu?
- It is a contagious viral disease caused by Influenza Type A virus.
- It usually affects poultry birds such as Turkeys and Chickens.
- There are several types of Influenza Type A virus.
- Some of the virus may cause low egg production and others result in early cracking of egg shells.
First Bird Flu Human Infection:
- The humans were first known to have contracted with bird flu in 1997.
- The H5N1 strain was the first Influenza virus to infect humans.
- It occurred following an outbreak in a live bird market in Hong Kong.
- According to the World Health Organization, the H5N1 does not spread from person to person.
- Also, according to WHO, there are no evidences that the virus can spread through properly cooked poultry.
- The virus is highly sensitive to heat and dies in cooking temperature.
Why is the Bird Flu outbreak so serious?
- The H5N1 is deadly.
- Around six out of ten bird flu cases have led to deaths in humans.
- The virus if mutated becomes easily transferable from person to person by altering its shape to grab human cells.
- This might result in a pandemic.
- Thus, the bird flu is currently creating a havoc in the country.
- The pandemic and seasonal flu have jumped from birds to humans through mutation.