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India Prepares Itself For H5N1

The avian flu virus’ signature has not been seen in India so far, according to the Indian Council for Medical Research’s (ICMR) Director-General N.Ganguly // . The institution has also set up with the Hong Kong Flu laboratory, a working relationship. Migratory birds are also being kept under surveillance to ensure that the poultry in the country are not infected.

The normal flu vaccine is also sought to be enhanced, and a vaccine technology towards this end has already been identified by Aventis Sanofi. Tamiflu is also sought to be manufactured in India, and negotiations towards this end are being conducted with Roche. The H5N1 flu cases reported in Turkey have reportedly not been transmitted through human beings, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Infected ducks in the country are reported to have been responsible for this.

The virus is however likely to jump from one species to another in the near future, and mutate into a human virus, after which it will spread rapidly. India is particularly vulnerable as it has a large number of ducks which can contract the disease from migratory birds and pass it on to domestic poultry. Early detection of the virus is still the best way to defend against the virus, and a geo-spatial database should be drawn up by the country with regard to its poultry that live in the vicinity of wetlands near water birds.


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