SUBJECT :Bird flu 

There is good news for city residents. As many as 125 samples of birds collected from poultry farms in the city, which were sent to the Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RDDL), Jalandhar, for examination, have tested negative. Besides, the samples of two patients — a two-year-old boy from Sector 35 and a 50-year-old culler from Panchkula — have also been found negative.

“The samples were sent to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), New Delhi, and we were telephonically informed today that the reports did not indicate flu,” said the UT Director (Health Services), Dr VK Gagneja. The three patients examined last week had also tested negative for bird flu.

As many as 80 residents, including 50 staff members of the Lake Club, walked into the flu screening OPD at the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, voluntarily fearing symptoms of flu. However, none of them was admitted as flu symptoms were ruled out by doctors.

Dr Lovelesh Kant Gupta, Joint Director, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Department, said they had sent 125 samples of birds from poultry farms within a 3-km radius of Sukhna Lake for examination, which had tested negative for bird flu.

Today, the UT Administration sent 25 more samples for examination to the RDDL, Jalandhar, he said.

Meanwhile, 6,000 houses were surveyed today in areas surrounding the lake.

Experts from Bhopal, Jalandhar arrive in city

Dr Manoj Kumar fom the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases Laboratory, Bhopal, and two other doctors from the RDDL, Jalandhar, reached the city today. The experts will collect blood samples of migratory birds and water samples from Sukhna Lake tomorrow. The staff of the UT Animal Husbandry Department and the Forest and Wildlife Department will assist them.

UT closes schools within 3-km radius of lake

UT Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin on Tuesday ordered the closure of all schools falling within a 3-km radius of Sukhna Lake. The orders will be applicable to schools in the UT only. The orders will affect private schools in Sectors 7, 8, 9 and 26. The orders state, “On suspicion of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of type A of subtype H5N1, popularly called bird flu, the lake area has already been cordoned off for the public. Since it is a contagious disease, to curb the spread of bird flu, the district administration, as a precaution and to counter any adverse conditions, has ordered the closure of all schools falling within a 3-km radius of Sukhna Lake with immediate effect till further orders in public interest."

Source: The Tribune Chandigarh,