Tripura sounds alert on bird flu

AGARTALA, FEBRUARY 22 (AGENCIES): The apparent hysteria related to bird flu (H5N1) that had ebbed since its peak in 2006 has raised its ugly head once again after the virus was confirmed in the state-run duck farm at R K Nagar in Agartala, the capital city of Tripura. Following the outbreak of the deadly avian influenza, an alert has been issued and surveillance intensified in Tripura on Saturday. Principal Secretary of Animal Resource Development department Sriram Taranikan stated, “The Tripura government has sounded an alert in the state following outbreak of avian influenza in R K Nagar farm (about 6 km from here) and about 3,000 ducks and chicken were culled there yesterday.”
To deal with the outbreak, a central team from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Uttar Pradesh’s Izatnagar in Bareilly and another from the North Eastern Region Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (NERDDL) in Guwahati have arrived in Tripura to help the state authorities.
In an attempt to halt the spread of the virus, nearly 4,000 ducks and chicken have been killed in the RK farm.  As a precautionary measure, the State government has decided to cull poultry birds within 3 km radius of the infected farm.
The team of experts has restricted the movement of farm personnel working on the infected farms. According to experts, the presence of H5N1 in poultry poses a potential risk. The virus kills not only the domesticated bird that carries the virus, but also those humans in direct contact to the sick birds they tend.