Surveillance intensified in infected areas of Maharashtra

ON THE JOB: Culled poultry about to be removed at Amodha village in Jalgaon district, Maharashtra, on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: PTI

Gargi Parsai

Officials rule out possibility of infection having been carried from Navapur

NEW DELHI: With four samples of dead poultry in Jalgaon district in Maharashtra testing positive on Tuesday, the population in and around the affected district has been put under surveillance.

A total population of 3,38,751 within three to 10 km radius has been put under surveillance in 147 villages. A health supervisor will supervise four health workers and four supervisors will work under a medical officer. They will undertake door-to-door surveillance within three km radius, on the lines of the pulse polio campaign, and look into symptoms of sore throat, cold and fever and contact with infected poultry. The population in the area has been kept under isolation.

In a new development, the Government is keeping a watch on mortality among pigs after reports of the infection being found in a cat and pig in Europe and South-East Asia. While a pig sample tested in the northeast turned out to be negative, a report was awaited for a sample tested in Vadodra, said Upma Chawdhry, Additional Secretary Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

Officials ruled out the possibility of the infection having been carried from Navapur and the adjoining area, where more than four lakh birds were culled after samples tested positive for H5N1 infection.

S.K. Bandyopadhyay, Commissioner, Animal Husbandry, said there was a possibility that the infection "was occurring simultaneously at low level" in the Jalgaon villages.

Dr. Bandyopadhyay, who is part of a committee to investigate the source of bird flu infection, said the panel was yet to reach a scientific conclusion on whether the infection was from migratory birds, bird feed or from legally imported birds.

Two tests were carried out to confirm H5N1, which took at least five days. Priority was given to samples where poultry mortality occurred.