New Delhi: Days after several states reported confirmed cases of bird flu, the government held a meeting to understand the status of the outbreak of avian influenza and to suggest measures to control the spread of the disease. Meanwhile, other states have stepped up vigil to monitor bird movements and unusual deaths in forest areas. In Maharashtra, the Uddhav Thackeray-led government has issued a red alert in the state and asked the district officials to keep a strict vigil.Also Read - 189 Birds Dead in Rajasthan Due to Avian Influenza

“We are on alert as avian influenza has caused deaths of hundreds of birds in states of Kerala, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh. Around 10-12 birds had died in Thane, samples of carcasses have tested negative for bird flu,” said Maharashtra Animal Husbandry Minister Sunil Kedar. Also Read - 'Nothing to Panic': Spread of Bird Flu From Human to Human Rare, Clarifies AIIMS Chief Dr Guleria

Similarly, the Uttarakhand Animal Husbandry Department has also set up a control room (toll-free number 18001208862) as cases of bird flu were detected in Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Kerala. Besides, the Punjab Government has also sounded an alert and pulled all stops to keep the state safe from the possible effect of the outbreak in its neighbouring states. Also Read - India Reports First Bird Flu Death as 12-Year-Old Boy Dies at AIIMS Delhi, Staff Placed Under Isolation

Bird Flu in Five States so Far

Till now, bird flu outbreak has been reported Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

The Narendra Modi-led government has already issued advisories to the affected states regarding increasing and intensifying surveillance for unusual mortality of birds including wild / migratory birds.

It has also established a central control room to strategize, co- ordinate and facilitate state governments with regard to outbreak management, disease control and containment.

Moreover, two central teams have been deployed to visit the affected states of Kerala, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh for monitoring and for epidemiological investigation.

About Avian Influenza

Avian influenza (AI) viruses have been circulating worldwide for centuries with four known major outbreaks recorded in the last century. India notified the first outbreak of avian influenza in 2006. According to the Ministry of Environment, infection in humans is not yet reported in India though the disease is zoonotic.

There is no direct evidence that AI viruses can be transmitted to humans via the consumption of contaminated poultry products.