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India is free from Bird Flu: Ministry

India has declared itself free from bird flu (H5N1) as of Dec. 29, 2011 though it said the surveillance will continue, in the vulnerable areas bordering the infected countries and in areas visited by migratory birds.

Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture has advised the States to maintain vigil against the disease.

Outbreak of bird flu was notified on Sept. 8, 2011 in village Bhamondanga, part- I, Agomoni Block in Dhubri district of Assam. This was followed by another outbreak in Betai Nanshatola and Putimari Christianpara in Tehetta Block of Nadia district of West Bengal, which was notified on Sept. 19, 2011. Thereafter, there has been no further outbreak.

The control measures adopted in the outbreaks were stamping out of entire poultry population including destruction of eggs, feed, litters and other infected materials in the radius of 3 kms. around each outbreak location, restriction on movement of poultry, poultry products to and from the area of outbreak, disinfection and cleaning up of infected premises. The final disinfection process was completed on Sept. 29, 2011.

Surveillance was carried out throughout the country. Surveillance around the area of outbreak since completion of the operation (including culling disinfection and clean up) and surveillance in rest of the country has shown no evidence of presence of bird flu (H5N1), said a statement.

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