Bird flu reported in New Delhi

Avian territories under monitor


October 21, 2016

/ By / New Delhi

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As the news of avian influenza spreads across New Delhi, the Indian capital, authorities take precautionary measures and poultry traders prepare for fall in demand.

The Delhi zoo alerted the authorities of a possible bird flu outbreak in the capital after the death of ten migratory birds. Poultry farms, meat markets and other avian territories were put under watch by the government following the warning.

The Delhi zoo has been closed for three days as a precautionary measure as there is a possibility of the virus infecting humans through contamination.

Contact with dead or alive infected birds is said to spread the virus. According to the World Health Organisation, the mortality rate in the infected people is about 60 pc; although human cases of the H5N1 avian influenza occur occasionally and it is difficult to transfer the virus from person to person.

The virus can cause fever, cough, sore throat, pneumonia, respiratory diseases and, in rare cases, death in humans.

Experts have been reported saying that Delhi’s large pigeon population could potentially turn carriers and spread the virus across the capital.

The government is alert and taking the necessary steps to curb the spread of the virus.

A ten-member team has been deployed at the zoo and the bird sanctuaries in the city have been shut. “Surveys are being done at all the hotspots in the city and the reports will be submitted on Thursday,” an Indian daily reported the Delhi Development minister Gopal Rai saying.

“We are looking for dead migratory birds. Earlier, there have been scares of bird flu. This is, however, the first for Delhi that there are confirmed cases,” the official said. “Primary reason for spread of bird flu is usually contaminated feed and water. Contact with infected birds’ nasal and respiratory secretions could be another reason.”

According to World Health Organisation’s website, “Almost all cases of H5N1 infection in people have been associated with close contact with infected live or dead birds, or H5N1-contaminated environments.”

Certain precautionary measures are the way forward, if you are visiting the city:


Precautions to take as a tourist
If you are travelling to the city, following some simple measures could be helpful in curbing the spread of the virus.
  • Avoid visiting places where live birds such as chicken are raised or kept.
  • Do not visit local eateries where hygiene might seem an issue. Ask your server to clean utensils for cooking and serving your dish.
  • Do not touch sick or dead birds.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after handling raw poultry or eggs.

Besides tourists, the spread of the flu is alarming many across the city. While the government is taking precautionary measures to curb its spread, poultry traders are getting ready to witness a fall in the demand of chicken and hoping a rise in mutton’s demand.

“As soon as the news spreads, the demand for chicken and eggs is expected to drop by 15-20 pc with each passing day. The only thing to fall back on is an expected increase in the demand for mutton,” a major poultry supplier from New Delhi told an Indian daily

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