Even as an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed in Jharkhand capital city Ranchi, the State Health Minister Banna Gupta made a bizarre remark stating that he "eats more chicken when bird flu infection spreads."
The Minister further said, "A few cases have been detected there is no serious concern as of yet. Our department (Health) is closely working with the Department of Animal Husbandry, and we will make sure that no one suffers by it," Mr. Gupta said while interacting with the reporters here on Saturday.
"There is nothing to panic, I eat more chicken when bird flu infection spreads, all you need to do is heat it well while cooking, "Samples from the said epicentre (Jail More, Ranchi Municipal Corporation) were sent to the ICAR-National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) Bhopal which confirmed that samples are found positive for H5N1 avian influenza.
Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy has directed the Jharkhand government to take immediate measures including a declaration of infected and surveillance areas, restricting access to infected premises, destruction of birds and disposal of dead birds and infected material. Last week over 400 chickens died in a period of five days at the government poultry farm located in Lohanchal, in Bokaro district after being affected by Bird Flu, a Kolkata lab has confirmed.
Nearly 4000 birds including chickens and ducks, were culled in Bokaro district after confirmation of the bird flu outbreak among 'Kadaknath' and Rhode Island Red (RIR) varieties of chicken. Symptoms of the infection among humans include severe upper back pain, fever, cough, shortness of breath, cold and blood in the sputum. Globally, 868 human infections with H5N1 avian flu - the type of virus circulating around the globe - were reported from 21 countries from January 2003 to Nov. 25, 2022, according to the World Health Organisation.