No bird flu detected in poultry birds in Delhi
The Delhi Animal Husbandry Unit on Thursday confirmed that avian influenza, or bird flu, hasn't been detected in the poultry birds in the national capital. This comes a day after all three Delhi civic bodies banned the sale, processing, packaging, and storage of poultry or poultry meat. Earlier, some samples from ducks and crows tested positive, triggering panic among civic agencies and authorities. Here's more.
100 samples from Delhi's Ghazipur poultry market tested negative
The Animal Husbandry Unit said that all the 100 samples taken from Delhi's Ghazipur poultry market - the largest chicken market in Asia - tested negative for avian influenza. Rakesh Singh, a senior officer with the Animal Husbandry Unit, told news agency PTI that the results show there is no spread of the bird flu in the poultry birds in the national capital.
'There is no spread of avian influenza in poultry birds'
"Test results of 104 samples arrived on Wednesday evening. Of these, 100 samples were collected from 35 poultry birds in the Ghazipur market. All samples have tested negative...It means there is no spread of avian influenza in poultry birds in Delhi," said Singh.
Bird flu suspected in four cases; samples sent for confirmation
Singh said of the 104 samples received, four were of Heron birds from Hastsal Park, adding they suspect bird flu in these cases. The samples have been sent to Bhopal for confirmation. On January 9, the Ghazipur poultry market was closed for 10 days as a precautionary measure after bird flu was confirmed in wild birds, which were found dead in parks across Delhi.
No case of human transmission, says Animal Husbandry Minister
The spread of bird flu (transferrable to humans) in India led to a decline in the sale of eggs and chicken, following which poultry farmers reported heavy losses. However, Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh confirmed "there has been no case of human transmission" in India.
Consuming properly cooked poultry products is safe
While the civic bodies in Delhi issued orders to ban poultry products with immediate effect, both the Delhi Government and the Centre said consuming "properly cooked poultry products" is safe. The Delhi Government also issued a notification saying it was safe to eat properly cooked eggs and poultry meat. "Avian Influenza is not transmitted through cooked food," said the Delhi Government and the Centre.
Health Department urges people not to panic
The Health Department also issued an advisory urging people not to panic and take proper precautions. "H5N8 is highly pathogenic in birds but the pathogenicity in humans, as well as the likelihood of human infection with avian influenza (AH5N8) virus, is low," it said.