Source: http://www.thestatesman.net/page.new...ss=1&id=262777

Centre to back Bird Flu project (Bengal)

;Statesman News Service
KOLKATA 29 JULY: The Union health ministry along with US-AID is doing a project in seven districts in the state to identify susceptible areas of Avian Flu and measures that could be taken to prevent the spread of the disease.
Dr Suneel Kumar Muttoo, resident advisor of US-AID, said seven vulnerable areas have been identified ~ Petrapol in North 24-Parganas, Sonamaora in West Tripura, Naxalbari in Darjeeling, Hilly in North Dinajpur, Dinhata in Cooch-Behar, Forbejganj and an area in Malda. Health workers will start their work soon.
After undergoing research it has been found that chances of cross border influenza transmission is high as India shares a porous border with Bangladesh, Nepal and Burma. It has also been found that the virus usually spreads amongst poultry birds if they are kept in contact with wild birds.
He also added that as the virus H5NI (Avian Flu) is caught by humans mainly through improper methods of handling and slaughtering of poultry birds, health workers will visit each and every market in the area and train poultry workers on the correct way to slaughter chickens.
The organisation is also planning to do a project with the Union health department about the measures that could be taken to prevent the spread of the HINI virus.
The cost of the project is Rs 50 lakh and will be borne by the funding agency.
Experts, meanwhile, are of the opinion that the H1NI virus (swine flu) is not so dangerous as that of the H5N1 virus and the state government has failed to control the situation to prevent the spread of the latter. As a result, it has spread to almost all districts. The Union government has already disbursed funds to install a bio safety level 3 laboratory at the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals for conducting pathological tests on the affected birds. The laboratory will become operational in three months' time.