India declares itself free from Bird Flu

  •  India has declared itself free from Bird Flu (highly pathogenic Avian Influenza – H5N1 and H5N8).
  • The move will help it resume export of poultry products to the countries which had banned trade in such items early this year.

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.

About World Organisation for Animal Health:

  • The World Organisation for Animal Health is recognised as a reference body by the World Trade Organization. It has 181 countries as its members. This global body keeps tab on animal health issues and advises countries on best practices to be followed during such outbreaks.
  • This organisation also supports countries to help them control animal diseases that cause livestock losses and pose a risk to public health. Under its norms, ban can be lifted after 90 days of surveillance.
  • India is, at present, the world’s fifth largest egg producer and the 18th largest producer of broilers. 

Source:TH & Wiki

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