Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bird flu scare: Almost half of Indian state West Bengal hit

Bird flu has spread to almost half of West Bengal with Cooch Behar and Hooghly being added on Wednesday to the list of districts affected by the disease even as the authorities said they may have to raise the target of culling 20 lakh chicken.

Death of chicken was also reported from Howrah, bordering Kolkata.

Even in the already affected districts of Nadia and Murshidabad districts, more blocks have reported the disease, local administration officials said.

"Samples of chicken sent from Cooch Behar and Hooghly districts to the High-risk Security Disease Laboratory (HSDL) in Bhopal yesterday tested positive," Animal Resources Development Minister Anisur Rahaman said on Wednesday.

Nine districts -- Birbhum, Murshidabad, South Dinajpur, Burdwan, Nadia, Bankura and Malda Cooch Behar and Hooghly -- out of 19 in the state have so far fallen prey to avian flu.

"Steps are being taken to officially notify both districts as bird flu affected for the next course of action including culling," Rahaman said.

‘The samples which tested positive were from Dinhata in Cooch Behar district and Balagarh in Hooghly district. There was, however, no case of humans beings being affected’, the minister said.

The target of culling, set at 20 lakh spread over seven days, was also likely to be raised, he said.

The daily target now was three lakh with 600 teams on the job from today, he said.

No comments: