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Preventive measures for bird flu in Goa

Recent news reports have indicated that an outbreak of bird flu may be looming. Reports a few months ago had indicated this development, however, it wasn’t confirmed at the time. Since the 24th of July, the South Goa magistrate  has put a ban on import of poultry from the neighbouring state of Karnataka.

The outbreak of the virus has been confirmed in the Bidar district of Karnataka. The National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal confirmed the outbreak after test samples were found to be positive. The ban is said to be a precautionary measure and will be reviewed later and revoked if the threat decreases.

“The ban is a precautionary measure and will be reviewed in a few days,” said South Goa District Magistrate Swapnil Naik in a report.

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Goa has an active domestic poultry industry which is considered to be insufficient to satisfy the local demand. Hence, the state imports poultry from the neighbouring states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Officials at Mollem and Pollem check-posts have been instructed not to allow entry of poultry products into the state.

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Diahorrea
  • Eye infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Severe respiratory diseases

Causes

One relief for humans is that the virus cannot be passed from one person to another. But it can be passed by:

  • Exposure to sick poultry and their discharges.
  • Poultry faeces dries up and becomes powder. Inhaling the powder can cause bird flu.

Precautions to avoid bird flu

  • Do not consume uncooked or under cooked poultry meat.
  • Hands need to be washed frequently and thoroughly after contact (within 15-20 seconds minimum).
  • Avoid exposure to infected birds.

According to the statistics revealed by Tourism Department, Goa is visited by 5 million tourists every year. Sudden drop in the availability of poultry in the State is bound to affect the tourism industry.  Stepping up its poultry production may be the need of the hour.

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