Bird Flu H5N1in Wangkha
T he outbreak of Bird Flu H5N1in local backyard poultry occurred and 13 local poultry died in a local farm in Alubari Wangkha, Bjabcho geog, Chukha.
There are around 3000 poultry in Wangkha and nearby villages which is at a risk of the disease. The disease was confirmed through laboratory test using Polymerase Chain Reaction from NCAH, Serbithang.
Bird Flu is a viral disease which affects both human and poultry population caused by Avian Influenza A virus.
Bhutan had 10 outbreaks since 2010 and the ministry had been effectively containing the disease. Due to effective rapid response by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest (MoAF) and Ministry of health and other agencies, Bhutan does not have any incidence of Bird Flu in human beings.
With the rapid response team from different ministries and agencies for the immediate containment and response to Bird Flu outbreak, the National Incident Command Committee, chaired by Secretary of MoAF has activated the Incident Operation Centre (IOC) at regional livestock development centre at Tsimasham
Subsequent to the confirmation of the disease through clinical signs, laboratory tests both in the field through rapid test and at the national laboratory through Polymerase Chain reaction on 13th October 2016, all the local backyard poultry in six farms in the immediate vicinity of the outbreak index farm were culled.
A total of 61 local poultry were culled, 46 eggs disposed, 11 poultry coops dismantled and burnt in the outbreak area as of 16 October.
Some of the actions taken comprises of presumptive culling of poultry, disinfection of infected areas, setup of vehicle disinfection point at Wangkha, active surveillance in Chukha dzongkhag and awareness to the public.
National Incident Command Committee (IOC) states that “Public should not panic.” The public is also advised to take precautions like washing of hands after handling poultry, chicken and eggs with soap and water.
The disease has huge risk of spread through movement of live and infected poultry including eggs and through vehicle. All the vehicles plying out of the demarcated infected or restricted zone are thoroughly infected before entering the main ThimphuPhuentsholing highway at Wangkha.
Poultry farmers are also cautioned to take utmost high bio-security of the farm and should not allow any visitors into the farms without proper safety measures.
The Ministry also requests the relevant agencies and the public of Chukha dzongkhag to provide full support to the Bird Flu containment and response team in Chukha in order to declare the area free of the disease.
The response to the Bird Flu for the control is done jointly by Department of Livestock, Chukha Dzongkhag Livestock Sector, Department of Public Health, Royal Bhutan Police, Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority and the Regional Livestock Development Centre Tsimasham and local authorities, Chukha.