Even as India is battling the ongoing COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus Pandemic and gearing up for the massive vaccine inoculation drive being planned by the government, another issue has begun troubling the nation already! No, we are not talking about the mutated, new strains of the Corona Virus. We are talking of the Avian Flu or the Bird Flu, as it is more commonly known. There have been a number of disturbing reports of huge numbers of birds falling from the air and dying in clusters, in recent days. Now, it has been confirmed that the Bird Flu has been confirmed in 4 states across India - Kerala, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Following this, the Central Government has issued strict directives to the governments of these 4 states, to monitor the health of the birds in forest regions as well as near water bodies. Talking about this Bird Flu spread, the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has identified migratory birds coming to India from other countries, as being the reason behind the spread of the Bird Flu. A statement from the Ministry read, "In India, the disease spreads mainly by migratory birds coming into India during winter months i.e. from September-October to February-March. The secondary spread by human handling (through fomites) cannot be ruled out."

Detailed reports state that 12 epicentres have been identified in 4 states, for the rapid spread of this recent Avian Influenza. A Standard Operating Procedure sent out by the Central Government has asked the States to improve the biosecurity of poultry farms, thoroughly disinfect already affected areas and very carefully dispose off the carcasses of the dead birds. This order has further asked the states to regularly collect samples and submit them for further confirmation and surveillance. The Kerala government has ordered the mass culling of infected birds and the drive is already underway. As security measures, the Karnataka government has ordered strict monitoring across the districts which border Kerala. A control room has also been set up in Delhi to monitor the Bird Flu spread, across the states! Stay tuned for updates...