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With eight chickens dying due to suspected H5N1 virus infection on December 29 at a retail outlet at Bhuvaneshwari Nagar in Dasarahalli, the state health and family welfare department on Wednesday began awareness campaigns to put in place preventive measures. They chickens were supplied from Tamil Nadu on December 28. As per reports available with the BBMP, the birds died due to H5N1 virus or avian flu, and the tests were done at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal. The results were known late on Tuesday, post which the Palike began its awareness drives.
Bird flu is a type of influenza virus that causes a highly infectious, severe respiratory disease in birds called avian influenza. The animal husbandry and fisheries department has issued a notification declaring 1-10km radius of Bhuvaneshwari Nagar as ‘surveillance zone’ and a km around the chicken centre as ‘infected zone’.
According to World Health Organization, though cases of avian flu among humans are rare, if affected, mortality rate could be as high as 60%. On Wednesday, BBMP culled more than 50 chickens and buried them near Hebbal, while the health department team visited and closed down many chicken shops in Yelahanka zone. “We have taken up preventive measures as per the Centre’s guidelines. Sale of chickens and eggs has been stopped in the vicinity of Bhuvaneshwari Nagar in Yelahanka zone, and the shops have been closed for now,” said Dr Nagaraj S, joint commissioner, Yelahanka zone, BBMP.
Following the avian flu scare, BBMP officials in Yelahanka zone have even suggested residents refrain from buying eggs or chicken meat for some time as a precautionary measure.
However, sales haven’t been hit in other parts of the city. “The affected chickens in Dasarahalli village were country-bread and non-broiler, and they usually come from Tamil Nadu or Andhra Pradesh. We should stop the inflow from those states for some time. As of now, there has been no impact on the Russell Market meat stores,” said Abdul Hafeez Jaleel, a wholesale egg seller at Russell Market.
Symptoms in humans: Symptoms of H5N1 infection may include fever, malaise, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, abdominal pain, chest pain and diarrhoea.
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