AVIAN INFLUENZA VIRUS (H9N2)
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Context: The Union Health Ministry has said that India faces a low threat from the avian influenza virus (H9N2) that has infected some humans and caused respiratory illness in children in northern China.
- The Indian Government is closely monitoring the reported outbreak in northern China.
- The Union Health Ministry has assessed that there is a low risk to India from both the avian influenza virus (H9N2) and the clusters of respiratory illness in children in northern China.
- The ministry emphasizes that India is prepared for all emergencies that may arise from the situation. This includes discussions on preparedness against H9N2, as reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) in October.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended measures for people in China to reduce the risk of respiratory illness. These include vaccinations, maintaining distance from the ill, staying at home if unwell, getting tested and seeking medical care, using masks, ensuring good ventilation, and practising regular hand-washing.
- The WHO's risk assessment indicates a low probability of human-to-human spread and a low case fatality rate among the reported human cases of H9N2.
- The health ministry acknowledges the need to enhance surveillance in humans, animal husbandry, and wildlife, as well as improve coordination.
- India's readiness and focus on coordination between various sectors involved in surveillance and response are crucial in handling such situations effectively. Overall, the low-risk assessment coupled with preparedness measures demonstrates a proactive and vigilant approach to health emergencies.
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A poultry farm in a rural area experienced a sudden onset of illness among their birds. The farm primarily raised chickens for egg production. Over a few days, several birds exhibited symptoms such as respiratory distress, decreased egg production, and sudden death. The farm owner contacted local veterinary authorities suspecting an outbreak of avian influenza.
Q. What measures are commonly recommended to control the spread of avian influenza in poultry farms?
A) Vaccination of birds
B) Strict biosecurity measures
C) Quarantine of infected birds
D) All of the above
Combining vaccination to boost immunity, maintaining strict biosecurity to prevent virus entry, and promptly quarantining infected birds are integral to effectively managing and controlling avian influenza within poultry farms. These measures collectively reduce the likelihood of transmission, lower the severity of outbreaks, and safeguard both bird health and the poultry industry as a whole.