2008 H5N1 outbreak in West Bengal

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2008 H5N1 outbreak in West Bengal was a significant event in the history of avian influenza in India. The outbreak was caused by the H5N1 strain of the Influenza A virus, which is highly pathogenic and can cause severe disease in both birds and humans.

Background[edit | edit source]

The H5N1 virus was first identified in humans in Hong Kong in 1997. Since then, it has spread to various parts of the world, causing outbreaks in poultry and occasional infections in humans. The virus is transmitted from birds to humans through direct contact with infected birds or their droppings.

Outbreak[edit | edit source]

The 2008 H5N1 outbreak in West Bengal began in January 2008. The first cases were reported in the district of Birbhum, where thousands of chickens were found dead. The Government of West Bengal declared a state of emergency and initiated a mass culling of poultry in the affected areas. The outbreak eventually spread to 13 out of 19 districts in the state, resulting in the culling of millions of birds.

Response[edit | edit source]

The Government of India and the World Health Organization (WHO) worked together to manage the outbreak. Measures taken included culling of infected birds, disinfection of affected areas, and surveillance of human contacts of infected birds. Despite these efforts, the outbreak resulted in significant economic losses for the poultry industry in West Bengal.

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

The 2008 H5N1 outbreak in West Bengal highlighted the need for improved surveillance and control measures for avian influenza in India. Following the outbreak, the Government of India implemented a national plan for the prevention, control, and containment of avian influenza.

See also[edit | edit source]

2008 H5N1 outbreak in West Bengal Resources
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