H5 Bird Flu has killed some birds at the Zoological Park in Dehli, #India one month after the country declared itself flu-free. The dead birds were tested and found to have the H5 strain of the avian influenza virus.
The Indian Express reported that the Delhi Zoo has been shut down. Apparently, about eight ducks were found dead, and later some pelicans. Development and General Administration Minister Gopal Rai said they had shut down the zoo and were "taking all precautions." This is for the safety of visitors to the Zoo.
H5 Bird Flu confirmed at zoo
India TV posted the #News to Twitter and later, they tweeted that the park was closed.
#DelhiZoo to remain temporarily closed for safety of the visitors and to take necessary actions to control the virus— India TV (@indiatvnews) October 19, 2016
India notified the World Organization for Animal #Health that they were now avian flu-free as they announced the last case of the disease was in May 2016 so this new outbreak is very worrying. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), bird flu is mainly a viral infectious disease that affects birds, but the A(H5N1) and A(H7N9), can cause serious infections in people.
It is difficult to contain the spread of Bird Flu and India had to dispose of all possible infected material among the bird populations that carried the illness. This meant for many poultry farmers, devastating loss as eggs and birds were destroyed. Poultry movement was also restricted.
Bird Flu in humans
WHO explains on their Website that the H5N1 bird flu can be found in humans but it does not spread from person to person. Nevertheless, as flu viruses do mutate a close eye is kept on the illness. The H5N1 is the original bird flu that caused a bit of a panic in Asia in late 2003 as some human cases were reported. In 2004, certain countries such as New Zealand had emergency plans in place in case of the spread of the disease.
The Star (Canada) wrote in 2014 that less than 700 people had contracted the H5N1 strain of flu in ten years. "About 60 percent of people who have been known to have been infected have died. So while infections are rare, they’re often severe," they said.
Travelers should avoid live poultry markets
According to WHO "the primary risk factor for human infection appears to be direct or indirect exposure to infected live or dead poultry or contaminated environments, such as live bird markets." The United States Flu site advises that people can avoid infection by staying away from dead poultry. Travelers to countries where there is bird flu are advised not to visit live poultry markets and to avoid anyone who may have the H5N1 virus. The United States government carefully controls domestic and imported food products and bans poultry and poultry product imported from countries whose poultry are infected by certain bird flu viruses, including H5N1.