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Bhutan - Government announces bird flu H5N1 outbreak in poultry in Rinchending

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  • Bhutan - Government announces bird flu H5N1 outbreak in poultry in Rinchending

    Suspected Bird Flu Outbreak at Rinchending



    the meeting in progress

    Thimphu, 17 October: Following the suspected outbreak of Bird Flu at Rinchending, Chukha on 16 October 2012, the members of National Incident Command Committee (NICC) met today at the conference hall of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) at 2:30pm. The meeting was chaired by Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen, the chairman of the NICC.

    The National Incident Command Committee comprises of representatives from Ministry of Health, Royal Bhutan Police, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority, Department of Livestock, National Centre for Animal Health, Information and Communication Services and other relevant stakeholders.

    The suspected outbreak was confirmed on 16 October 2012 in Tshethar poultry birds at the police colony in Rinchending, Phuntsholing. Samples received at the national referral laboratory at Serbithang were positive to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 (bird flu) by real time Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR). Detail investigation in the affected area revealed that approximately 14 birds died during the past week.

    As soon as the cases were detected positive, the National Centre for Animal Health (NCAH) immediately informed the Regional Veterinary Officer of the Regional Livestock Development Centre, Tsimasham who is leading the control operations in Phuntsholing. Currently, there are only about 30 birds at risk of exposure to the disease at the outbreak location. The dead birds were disposed properly following standard operating procedures laid down in the National Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Plan of the ministry.

    Meanwhile, the positive samples are referred to OIE designated regional referral laboratory for Avian Influenza at Bhopal, India for further confirmation as per OIE (World Organization for Animal Health Organization) standards.

    During an hour long deliberations, the National Incident Command Committee decided to initiate response activities immediately to control further spread of the outbreak. The actual declaration of the outbreak and reporting to OIE needs further confirmation from the regional referral laboratory in India. The response teams along with the relevant stakeholders are already working on the response activities at Rinchending.

    Based on the committee meeting, the Ministry had already issued a public notification to remind the general public not to get alarmed since the incidence is fully under control and required control measures are already put in place. It was also decided that the Ministry will provide regular update to the general public through various media.

    The ministry also requests the general public to extend possible supports and cooperation during the implementation of Bird Flu control activities.

    - Submitted by: Dr. N. Dahal, NCAH with photograph by: Choidup, ICS

    http://www.moaf.gov.bt/moaf/?p=11780
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  • #2
    Bhutan: 28 poultry culled following bird flu outbreak

    28 poultry culled following outbreak

    Birds had started dying since September 29, but deaths weren’t reported till October 9

    Bird Flu: Food regulatory officials culled 28 adult poultry birds on October 17 evening, following a suspected outbreak of bird flu (H5N1), when four birds tested positive for the flu in Rinchending, Phuentsholing.

    The national animal health centre in Serbithang, Thimphu tested the samples positive on October 16. However, officials said samples have been sent to the regional reference laboratory for South Asia in Bhopal, India for further confirmation.

    Media spokesperson, Dr Kinzang Dukpa, said the team culled 28 adult poultry birds from six households, disposed 10 eggs and dismantled four coops. “This is an immediate measure to stop the flu from spreading,” he said. “We’re still investigating the source of outbreak.”

    Dr Basant Sharma, one of the members of the 3D operation team in Phuentsholing, said the four birds that tested positive were among the 25 that had died between September 29 and October 17.

    Deaths of the first two birds were reported on October 9 to the livestock extension centre by a civil servant in Rinchending. “We quickly did a rapid test, and sent the sample to the animal health center,” he said.

    Dr Basant Sharma said five birds had died on September 29 below the College of Science and Technology premises, about three kilometres from Phuentsholing. But the owners hadn’t informed the livestock officials. The owners had disposed the carcasses, and so the team couldn’t confirm their cause of death.

    The pit was later sprayed with disinfectant. On October 15, two more birds were reported dead in the same area in Rinchending and also tested positive for H5N1. “After that, the birds started dying in the six households,” he said.

    All birds were reported to have died from similar symptoms, like black comb and swollen eyes, which are common symptoms of H5N1, according to the team. The affected households are yet to be compensated.

    The team will also start spraying disinfectants at Rinchending.

    http://www.kuenselonline.com/2011/?p=38606
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