Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Concerns mount over spread of H5N1 in India's West Bengal

West Bengal, home to 24 million people, India's most densely populated state, is now also home to the largest H5N1 outbreak among poultry in the nation. After spreading to 7 of West Bengal's 19 districts, officials fear that they may not be able to get ahead of the disease's spread.

Officials feared that five Bengalis had contracted the deadly strain, but fortunately none have tested positive for H5N1.

Authorities have put a plan in action to cull 2 million infected and exposed poultry to prevent the strain from spreading to other districts and states. However, progress has been slow because health workers are showing up late to work and villagers, expressing anger at the government for not fulling informing them of the dangers of bird flu, have been resistant. So far, only 150,000 birds have been culled.

In neighboring Bangladesh, where 26 of 64 districts are experiencing poultry outbreaks, health workers continue culling but have not gotten control of the outbreak yet.

Full Story: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SP262379.htm

No comments: