The Centre formed a three-member committee to keep a close watch on the bird flu situation even as over 40 avian deaths have been reported in the national capital.
This is formed after the reports of mortality among the birds in National Zoological Park, Delhi NCR and other parts of the country due to H5 avian influenza virus.
About Avian influenza:
Avian influenza (AI), commonly called bird flu, is an infectious viral disease of birds.
Most avian influenza viruses do not infect humans; however some, such as A(H5N1) and A(H7N9), have caused serious infections in people.
Outbreaks of AI in poultry may raise global public health concerns due to their effect on poultry populations, their potential to cause serious disease in people, and their pandemic potential.
The majority of human cases of A(H5N1) and A(H7N9) infection have been associated with direct or indirect contact with infected live or dead poultry. There is no evidence that the disease can be spread to people through properly cooked food.
The A(H5N1) virus subtype, a highly pathogenic AI virus, first infected humans in 1997 during a poultry outbreak in Hong Kong SAR, China. Since its widespread re-emergence in 2003 and 2004, this avian virus has spread from Asia to Europe and Africa and has become entrenched in poultry in some countries, resulting in millions of poultry infections, several hundred human cases, and many human deaths. Outbreaks in poultry have seriously impacted livelihoods, the economy and international trade in affected countries.
The A(H7N9) virus subtype is a low pathogenic AI virus.
How H5N8 is transmitted among birds?
Though wild birds can normally carry avian influenza viruses in their respiratory tracts they do not commonly get sick. The virus can spread among birds through direct contact with secretions from infected birds, contaminated feed, water, equipment, and human clothing and shoes. They can also transmit through movement of domestic live birds, people (through contaminated shoes and clothing), contaminated vehicles, equipment, feed and cages.
Culling is usually undertaken to control the infection when it is detected in animals. Besides culling, safe disposal of all such culled animals and animal products is also important. The authorities also need to strictly enforce decontamination of infected premises and undertake quarantine of contaminated vehicles and personnel