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Madhya Pradesh

Avian Influenza Crisis Drill

  • 22 Jun 2024
  • 3 min read

Why in News?

The Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairying and the World Bank recently organized a two-day simulation exercise in Madhya Pradesh to improve readiness for Avian Influenza or Bird Flu, in light of reported cases nationally and worldwide.

Key Points

  • The exercise held in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh involved 40 participants from different sectors who practiced outbreak detection, rapid response strategies, and inter-agency coordination to control the spread of avian flu.
    • The drill was conducted in response to the avian flu outbreaks in Kerala and the increasing global spillover cases affecting non-poultry species such as cattle.
    • The programme involved interactive scenarios mimicking real outbreak situations to provide crisis management experience.
  • The simulation was led by Hikuepi Katjiuongua, a senior agriculture economist at the World Bank, and Frank Wong, an expert from the World Organisation for Animal Health, with the goal of reducing negative effects on animal and human health.

World Organisation for Animal Health

  • It is an intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide.
  • In 2018, it had a total of 182 Member Countries. India is one of the member countries.
  • It develops normative documents relating to rules that Member Countries can use to protect themselves from the introduction of diseases and pathogens. One of them is the Terrestrial Animal Health Code.
  • It’s standards are recognised by the World Trade Organization as reference international sanitary rules.
  • It is headquartered in Paris, France.

Avian Influenza

  • About:
    • Avian influenza, often referred to as bird flu, is a highly contagious viral infection that primarily affects birds, particularly wild birds and domestic poultry.
    • In 1996, highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus was first identified in domestic waterfowl in Southern China.
    • The virus is named A/goose/Guangdong/1/1996.
  • Transmission to Humans and Related Symptoms:
    • Human cases of H5N1 avian influenza occur occasionally, but it is difficult to transmit the infection from person to person. As per World Health Organisation (WHO), when people do become infected, the mortality rate is about 60%.
    • It can range from mild flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, and muscle aches, to severe respiratory issues like pneumonia, difficulty breathing, and even cognitive problems such as altered mental status and seizures.
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