Medical workers were going door-to-door to look for people with symptoms of avian influenza in northeast India Friday as the infection in birds spread further.
So far, no human cases of infection of the deadly H5N1 virus have been reported in the affected Assam state, but authorities stepped up a health drive after 150 people developed some symptoms of the infection.
About 150 people were treated for fever and upper respiratory tract infections in bird flu-hit areas. We have put the patients in isolation.
Bird flu was ruled out in all cases, the official said.
The virus has spread in the past two weeks across six Assam districts, where an estimated 300,000 people live in the affected areas.
More than 250,000 poultry have been slaughtered so far and an estimated 150,000 more have been ordered to be killed.
The government was “worried” about the infection spreading to humans, as authorities may not be able to cope, local health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
The sale of poultry and poultry products has been banned in most parts of the state.
India reported its worst outbreak of bird flu early this year in the eastern state of West Bengal.
The WHO says the deadly H5N1 strain has killed nearly 250 people, mostly in Southeast Asia, since 2003.
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Bird Flu ProtectionAvian Flu Advice
Fears grow that bird flu virus has entered food chain
The avian flu virus that led to the culling of 160,000 farm turkeys may have entered the human food supply, Government food safety experts admitted.
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Key West Chickens Raise Bird Flu FearsCitizens Urged to Stockpile for Bird Flu Pandemic
The world should expect more bird flu outbreaks in the coming months, the U.N. official coordinating the global fight against the virus warned, after Britain recorded its first case of the H5N1 strain on a commercial farm.
Dr. David Nabarro said, however, that he did not expect the virus to spread in Britain to neighboring farms because of the quick containment measures put in place by the government.
“This should mean that there won’t therefore be spread … into other parts in the vicinity,” he (more…)
USDA: Fact Sheet - Avian Influenza Updated Part 3Avian Flu Advice
A dead bird found in Hong Kong has tested positive for a mildr strain of the bird flu virus, the city’s health authorities said.
“Preliminary testing of a dead bird … indicate a suspected case of H5 avian influenza,” a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said in a statement.
Further tests are now being carried out on the carcass of the Crested Hoshawk, which was found by a member of the public, the statement added.
Hong Kong was the scene of the world’s first reported major bird flu outbreak among humans in 1997, when six people died of a then unknown mutation of the avian flu virus. Millions of poultry were culled.
A renewed outbreak in 2003 among poultry flocks in Asia triggered a wave of bird flu infections worldwide.
The bird flu’s H5N1 strain is potentially deadly to humans. Bird flu has killed more than 150 people worldwide since late 2003. There are fears it could mutate and trigger a deadly human flu pandemic.
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What is Bird FluStockpile for a Possible Bird Flu Outbreak
‘War games’ have exposed serious flaws in government plans for fighting a deadly influenza pandemic, reports Roger Highfield
The first cases appeared in Glasgow in May. During the following months the influenza virus killed a quarter of a million people in Britain. Worldwide, the death toll was about 50 million. One doctor said it was “the most vicious type of pneumonia that has ever been seen”.
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U.S. Warns Africa On Bird Flu
The United States government yesterday warned that the avian flu, popularly known as the bird flu or H5N1, may mutate into a deadly pandemic worldwide and could end up claiming millions of lives globally, especially in developing countries. The US leader of Delegation on Avian and Pandemic Influenza, Ambassador John Lange, stated this at a press briefing at the US Embassy, Abuja, yesterday.
Lange stated that the avian flu requires constant surveillance, which the US is trying to establish through broad-based cooperation to prevent an outbreak of the pandemic in case the avian virus mutates. According to him, there is need for cooperative action to be taken down to the grassroots where many rural dwellers are exposed to the virus without knowledge of its deadly impact when they come in contact with chickens.
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