The Indian government has asked all states to be on alert following the outbreak of bird flu or Avian Influenza in some parts of the country

The department of animal husbandry and dairying has also set up a control room in the national capital to keep a watch over the situation and to take stock of preventive measures undertaken by state authorities.

Avian Influenza has been reported from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala.

Government officials said that the central government has suggested several measures to contain the disease and prevent its further spread as per the action plan on Avian Influenza.

Preventive measures include strengthening of biosecurity of poultry farms, disinfection of affected areas, proper disposal of dead carcasses, timely collection and submission of samples for confirmation, intensification of surveillance and following of general guidelines.

The centre has directed all states to follow these measures diligently to prevent the spread of Avian Influenza from affected birds to poultry and humans.

“Coordination with the forest department for reporting any unusual mortality of birds was also suggested to the states. The other states were also requested to keep a vigil on any unusual mortality amongst birds and take necessary measures,” the officials said.

Also read: Bird flu outbreak: Thousands of poultry to be culled, Environment Ministry calls situation ‘serious’

The centre also issued advisories to the four affected states so as to avoid further spread of the infection.

Kerala has already initiated control and containment operations along with culling activities from January 5 at the epicenters.

The first outbreak of bird flu occurred in 2006, though no human infection has been reported so far.

There is no direct evidence that AI viruses can be transmitted to humans via the consumption of contaminated poultry products.

Implementing management practices that incorporate biosecurity principles, personal hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection protocols and cooking and processing standards are effective means of controlling the spread of the AI virus.

Migratory birds coming to India during the winter months have been found to be carriers of the virus.

The secondary spread by human handling through contaminated objects cannot be ruled out.

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