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After flurry many countries, finaly the Bird Flu has arrived to India. In space of less than a year, the lethal strain of bird flu known as H5N1 has swept out of its strongholds in eastern Asia and spread swiftly to Russia, Europe, Africa, and West Asia. On Saturday, laboratory tests confirmed that the virus had arrived in India with an outbreak that killed 100’s of chicken in Nandurbar district of Maharashtra. For more than two years, the virus has ravaged poultry and caused human illness (and death) in many South-East Asian countries. Between April and June 2005, large numbers of wild water birds at Qinghai Lake in western China perished after being infected by the virus. By July-August, outbreaks involving the virus were reported from Mongolia, Siberia, and Kazakhstan. The virus reached Turkey, Croatia, Romania, and Greece by October. Ukraine reported outbreaks in November 2005.
The virus was infecting chicken and humans in northern Iraq by January this year. Earlier this month, Nigeria became the first African nation to report the virus, with an outbreak at a large commercial poultry farm. This month, many European countries, Egypt, and Iran found wild birds infected with H5N1. Migratory birds have often been blamed for spreading the virus. This perception has grown as the H5N1 viral strains involved in recent outbreaks, including in Nigeria, have been found to be very similar to the one found at the Qinghai Lake. At least some species of migratory waterfowl are now thought to be carrying the H5N1 in its highly pathogenic form and introducing it to new areas along their route, says the World Health Organization in its fact sheet on avian influenza.
Some months back I haveWritten that Bird Flu will attack India? Now it attacked India.
In India, the source of the infection that led to the outbreak in Nandurbar district is not clear. Bird migrations into the country were over by around November. If migratory birds had brought the virus, one would have expected outbreaks well before this. Moreover, such outbreaks ought to have occurred at places further north that the birds would have reached earlier. The wild birds would now be preparing to return to their spring breeding grounds. The Bombay Natural History Society's (BNHS) members and staff have been monitoring some 26 wetlands across the country on a fortnightly basis and had not reported any suspicious illness among wild birds. But now that H5N1 has arrived in India, the danger is that the virus could rapidly spread to poultry flocks across the country and beyond. Bird flu viruses can be readily transported from farm to farm by the movement of live birds, people, and contaminated vehicles, equipment, feed and cages, according to the WHO fact sheet on avian influenza. Highly pathogenic viruses such as the H5N1 can survive for long periods in the environment, especially when temperatures are low, it adds.
Although the Central and State Governments acted as soon as the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory at Bhopal confirmed the H5N1 infection in poultry in Nandurbar district, the outbreak is reported to have started a couple of weeks ago. If so, it is possible that the virus has already been carried out of the region in the course of the commercial trade in poultry. The massive cull and quarantine that has been ordered may not then suffice to stop the spread of the virus. The Indian helath Minister Anbumani has said samples of bird flu virus in humans, sent for re-confirmation to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Reference Laboratory in Hong Kong. The government said, all action are taken, there is no need to panic, If any have symptoms like fever or cold, immediately go to doctors. The neighboring countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal… have banned for importing Birds and Chicken. All vehicle coming form Maharashtra have been check and then only allowed to other states.