Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chicken Culling in India in an Effort to Slow the Spread of Avian Influenza

A mutant strain of H5N1 Avian Influenza has been spreading through parts of Asia including China and Viet Nam and India, causing Indian authorities to commence the culling of all poultry, feeding material, and eggs. Places like West Bengal, which are prone to virulent outbreaks of bird flu, have stepped up surveillance, even considering stopping the movement of all poultry. It is not entirely clear that the outbreaks in China and Viet Nam are related to the outbreak in India.

This recent outbreak in Asia is of particular concern, due to its mutation and the lack of any vaccine against this particular strain. The UN Food and Agricultural Association has warned of the outbreak moving beyond the continent. H5N1 Avian Influenza is relatively virulent, and the high rates of exposure between people and poultry in villages in East India could mean major danger for humans not just in the area, but far beyond the country's borders.

In 2006, a major outbreak of bird flu occurred in India, and since then multiple mini-outbreaks have resurfaced.,F2400_P1001_PUB_MAIL_ID:1000,90356

-Pooja Desai

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