The Union Agricultural Ministry on 26 October 2016 constituted a High-Level Committee to monitor the bird flu situation and help state governments take steps to contain the disease.
The Committee will be headed by Munialappa, Joint Commissioner in the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries (DADF).
Terms of reference of the committee
• Munialappa will be the nodal officer and will be available to provide advice and help round the clock.
• A control room, with telephone numbers 011-23384190 and 09448324121, will provide advice and help round the clock.
• Besides monitoring the situation, the committee will assist the state governments in taking steps to contain the spread of avian influenza.
• The committee will have representatives from Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Department of Agriculture Research and Extension (DARE) and the Delhi government.
• National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Indian Veterinary Research Institute and four regional laboratories will assist the state governments and will get samples tested in an emergency response manner.
Avian influenza in India
Avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, is an infectious viral disease of birds. Most avian influenza viruses do not infect humans but some of them can cause serious infections in people.
Birds in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala have tested positive for avian influenza AH5N8, which according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is considered less risky of being transmitted to humans.