No evidence of avian influenza affecting humans: Sanjeev Balyan

In the last few days, Bird flu or Avian influenza has been reported among crows in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, wild geese in Himachal Pradesh  and ducks in Kerala. However, union minister of state for animal husbandry and dairying Sanjeev Balyan who also has a doctorate in veterinary anatomy said, there was no evidence of the disease infecting humans. 

“Avian influenza can be transmitted into humans but in India there is no report of such infection so far since it was first notified in 2006. However, we must take preventive measures. Whatever we eat, it should be well-cooked and hygienically handled. The disease is transmitted through the respiratory system, so proper precaution should be taken while disposing of dead birds,” said Balyan.

So far the disease had been reported in five states — Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh. “There could be one or two states. In most of the states, the disease has been detected in wild birds and migratory birds. In Kerala, it was found in ducks and in Haryana poultry birds have also been affected,” Sanjeev Balyan added.

According to Balyan, the only way to prevent the spread of the disease was to take precaution, as there was no treatment for it. “Every state government should keep a tight vigil on the situation. There should be proper disposal of dead birds and state government should try to restrict movement of birds as much as they can,” he said.

The central government has issued an action plan to prevent the spread of the disease and set up a control room in New Delhi to keep a watch on the situation.