India declares itself free from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 and H5N8
Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral disease that affects species of food producing birds like chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl as well as pet birds and wild birds.
India on 6 July 2017 declared itself free from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1 and H5N8) and notified the same to World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), an intergovernmental body that coordinates, supports and promotes animal disease control.
India had reported outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian influenza at various epicenters in Delhi, Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), Rajpura (Punjab), Hissar (Haryana), Bellary (Karnataka), Allappuzha and Kottayam (Kerala), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Daman (Daman) and Khordha and Angul (Odisha).
These outbreaks were reported during October 2016 to February 2017. All these outbreaks of Avian Influenza (HPAI) were notified to OIE. Subsequently, control and containment operations were carried out as per the 'Action Plan on Preparedness, Control and Containment of Avian Influenza'.
After the proper execution of control and containment operations including culling, disinfection and clean-up, surveillance was carried out throughout the country and around the areas of the outbreaks.
The surveillance in the states showed no evidence of presence of Avian Influenza Virus.
About Avian influenza
Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral disease that affects species of food producing birds like chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl as well as pet birds and wild birds. Mammals, including humans, may contract avian influenza.
Over the years, Avian Influenza has captured the attention of the international community as outbreaks in poultry have serious consequences on both livelihoods and international trade in many countries.
Although, most avian influenza viruses do not infect humans, but some such as avian influenza H5N1, H5N2, H5N8, H7N8 continue to be a global public health concern.