Dear Chief Secretary,
Sub: Re-emergence of Avian Influenza in China – Regarding.
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) has been reported in many countries of South-East Asia and human cases are also reported from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam where people have died due to this zoonotic disease. The disease has re-emerged recently in central China and about 519 birds including the migratory birds and geese were reported to be died.
We have been periodically writing to the State Secretaries/Directors of Animal Husbandry to be vigilant to prevent ingress of the disease into the country and take all precautionary measures in the event of any eventuality. We had sent copies of the guidelines as well as a questionnaire for reporting the disease in the event of any outbreak in poultry to the Directors/Commissioners of the State Animal Husbandry (copy enclosed for ready reference). Most of the states have activated the State Animal Disease Emergency Committee (SADEC) and necessary steps taken for preventing any outbreak of the disease.
In the present instance, in China the deaths are primarily of the migratory birds. Therefore, it is more important that the surveillance be intensified and the serum samples from the birds maintained around the sanctuaries/ lakes where there is a possibility of migratory birds nesting need to be collected and sent to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory, Bhopal for testing. The guidelines issued on this matter are again enclosed for immediate action. We look forward to your strong enforcement of the steps to prevent ingress of disease into the country.
The Chief Secretaries of all the States/UTs.
Guidelines for prevention and spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in poultry
The following guidelines are provided for implementation for prevention and spread of HPAI infection:
(i) There should be strict regulation of entry of personnel, material visitors, vehicles etc. and entry should be allowed only after following proper disinfection procedure. All material including the vehicle should be disinfected thoroughly at the entry point of the farm by providing appropriate disinfection facilities including deep spray etc. All personal vehicles should not be allowed inside the premises, where the stock is maintained. All personnel should wear protective clothing, gumboots and mask if necessary and enter into the farm after observing proper disinfection procedures.
(ii) No visitor should be allowed inside the farm. If unavoidable, procedure on serial no. 1 should be followed strictly. However these visitors should not be allowed to visit the poultry stock maintained in the farm.
(iii) Measures to control rodents and insects in the entire premises with the cleaning of vegetation around the farm should be resorted to.
(iv) Measures to dispose of the droppings/ faeces of the poultry should be undertaken by deep burial or incineration. All waste products including the dead poultry, spoils eggs and other waste material from the poultry pen should be disposed off through incineration or deep burial with disinfection (any detergent along with other standard disinfectant)
(v) There should not be exchange of any material and personnel between the different pens. If unavoidable, complete disinfection procedure of material and hygienic precaution by the personnel should be adopted strictly before and after the exchange operations.
(vi) All the farm should adopt a vigilance system for early detection of suspected cases of the disease and for appropriate follow up action. It would be desirable that different teams are constituted to visit different pens of the farm. These teams should adopt strict disinfection procedure along with protective clothing, gloves, mask & caps etc. during their visit and undergo a complete disinfection procedure before moving into the next pen.
(vii) Any suspected case detected by the vigilance team should be reported to the farm authority and to the state veterinary department immediately for any support needed by the farmer, breeder or farm. The suspected flock should be quarantined in-situ by imposing all the disinfection procedure and stopping any exchange of material from that locality to other parts of the farm and outside of the farm. Follow up action may be taken as per the advice of the department of veterinary services or animal husbandry or a qualified veterinary officer of the state department.
(viii) In the event of detection of infection in the flock of the suspected disease the entire operation of the farm in terms of marketing of produce, birds, eggs etc. should be stopped completely till the disease passes off. This regulatory mechanism will be in force till one month of the last case detected in the said farm.
(ix) All such poultry farms, breeders and farmers should stop immediately entry of new birds in the flock from outside sources and from sources of unknown diseases status. Before allowing entry of new stock it should be ensured that similar type of disease has not occurred in the supply farm at least within 3 months period.
(x) The farm which has encountered this disease and no clinical cases have been detected should not move the birds out of the farm before expiry of thirty days period with verification of the fact by the state government veterinary officer.
(xi) In order to provide immediate help and support to the farms, poultry breeders and farmers the State authority should gear up the emergency responsive system as per exigencies under intimation to the Chairman National Animal Disease Emergency Committee and Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India.
(xii) The state government should draw up a plan to monitor and regulate the movement of birds and other produce from this poultry farm located in the infected belt so as to minimize the risk of spread of the infection to the other parts of the country. If necessary, state government should take recourse to the state legislative provision/ Act available for this purpose.
(xiii) In the event of detection of infection / outbreak in any farm the follow up action will be taken as per direction of the state authorities.
(xiv) The cullers should use goggles, impervious aprons, gloves, gum boots and face masks.
(xv) State Government should organize awareness camps related with various poultry diseases.
(xvi) Field veterinarians are required to know the differentiating characters of HPAI from other diseases viz. RD, Fowl Cholera.
(xvii) Identification of diseased birds, material to be collected, Method of sample collection and Laboratories where the samples can be sent for testing are at Annexure - I.
Annexure - I
Investigation of Avian Influenza
If there is a suspicion of Avian Influenza (AI) in poultry, a thorough investigation by veterinarians of the Department of Animal Husbandry of the States/ UTs should be carried out as follows:
Identification of diseased birds: marked depression, scuffled feathers and sudden drop in egg production.
Clinical signs : The birds will show marked depression. There may be coughing, sneezing, rales, and excessive lacrimation, oedema of head and face, blueness of the un-feathered skin, nervous disorder and diarrhoea. There will be sudden and high mortality without showing any clinical signs.
PM Lesions: Mild lesions are characterized by nasal discharge, catarrhal, fibrinous, sero-fibrinous discharge, oedema of face, omphalitis. Highly pathogenic avian influenza is characterized by subcutaneous hemorrhages and oedema of head and sinuses. Hemorrhage are also observed in the visceral organs.
Material to be collected : Clinical specimen in the form of tracheal and cloacal swabs from live birds or tissues from lung, trachea, spleen intestine, air-sac, brain should be forwarded on ice.
Name of laboratories: Material may be sent to State Veterinary Colleges, Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratories (RDDLs) of the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying in different regions of the country, High Security Animal Disease Laboratory, Bhopal and any of the laboratories of IVRI at Izatanagar, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mukteswar (with a copy to Head, Avian Diseases Division, IVRI, Izatanagar).
Dated the 27th May 2005.