Bird flu will not affect humans, says virologist

By Tharian Mathew

Vellore: “Officials consider the issue seriously, as the government staff working at culling infected birds in the affected farms in Kerala are wearing full protective equipment. But the owners of the affected birds — especially ducks — were seen in their habitual dress. We still do not know if they have developed immunity to this virus or if it even affects humans as it is yet to be identified scientifically,” he said. As avian flu could spread quickly, the only solution was to cull both affected and exposed birds, Dr John said.

“If culling is not undertaken now, it could affect the economy of the State, as quick spread will ensure the death of birds in most farms leading to increase in economic losses for chicken and duck farmers,” he said. “Culling now would prevent spreading and thus bird owners will be able to reap profits when the situation returns to normality,” he added.

“Though the virus from pigs and the bird flu could combine and enter human hosts, it is yet to be ascertained fully,” he concluded.

24 crows, 10 ducks dead in Delhi, samples taken for test

Amid bird flu scare in the national capital, at least 24 crows have been found dead at a district park in south Delhi’s Jasola in the past three days and 10 ducks have died at the famous Sanjay Lake, officials said on Saturday.

The DDA, which owns a large number of parks in the city, said authorities are monitoring the situation closely. “The samples of ducks found dead have been taken by the veterinary department authorities to ascertain if the cause of death was bird flu or not,” a senior DDA official said.

Four crows found dead in Gujarat

Even as Gujarat recorded its first confirmed cases of bird flu, four crows were found dead at a village in Mangrol taluka in the state’s Junagadh district, an official said on Saturday.

“We found carcasses of four crows at Loej village on Friday evening. The remains will be sent to a laboratory in Bhopal to ascertain the cause of death,” said Ashok Kumbhani, veterinary officer of Mangrol veterinary dispensary in the district.

900 hens die at Maharashtra

As many as 900 hens have died at a poultry farm in Murumba village in Parbhani district of Maharashtra, a senior official said on Saturday. Their samples have been sent for investigation to identify the exact cause of the death, Parbhani district collector said.

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