The Union Agricultural Ministry has constituted a High-Level Committee to monitor the bird flu situation and help state governments take steps to contain the disease. The High-Level Committee will be headed by Joint Commissioner in the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries (DADF) Munialappa.
• The committee will have representatives from the Union Ministry of Health, Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Department of Agriculture Research and Extension (DARE) and the Delhi Government.
• Besides monitoring the situation, the committee will assist the state governments in taking steps to contain the spread of avian influenza.
• The state government will be assisted by the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Indian Veterinary Research Institute and four regional laboratories. In case of an emergency response, they will get samples tested.
The committee was constituted after mortality among the birds in National Zoological Park, Delhi NCR and other parts of the country due to Avian Influenza Virus (H5N1) was found.
What is Avian influenza?
• Avian influenza, commonly called bird flu is an infectious viral disease of birds. Thus, it is zoonotic disease.
• It is an infectious viral disease of birds and can sometimes spread to domestic poultry and cause large-scale outbreaks of serious disease.
•Human Infections: Most avian influenza viruses do not infect humans. There is no evidence that the disease can be spread to people through properly cooked food. However A(H7N9) and A(H5N1) virus strains have caused serious infections in people. The infections in humans have been associated with direct or indirect contact with infected live or dead poultry.
• Bird flu symptoms in Humans: Fever, sore throat, cough, muscle, body aches, nausea. It can lead to pneumonia, severe breathing problems and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
•Treatment: Controlling the spread of disease in animals is the first step in decreasing risks to humans.
• Human infections with bird flu viruses usually can be treated with the same prescription drugs that are used to treat human seasonal flu viruses.