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States alerted on swine flu
Correspondent/ PTI SHILLONG/IMPHAL/Assam, APR 29:
Published on 30 Apr. 2009 12:09 AM IST
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Although no swine flu case has been reported in India, the Meghalaya government today sounded alert and directed its veterinary doctors to keep a watch on the health of swine in the state. “All veterinary officials posted across the district headquarters and sub-divisions have been told to keep a close watch on animals, particularly pigs, and report if any unusual symptoms are detected or death,” director of animal and husbandry Dr D Khonglah said. He, however, said that there was nothing to worry because the virus has not affected India or its neighboring countries. Swine flu has been declared a medical emergency by the World Health Organisation. India has alerted those traveling to Mexico, USA, Canada, France and New Zealand. Passengers flying into India from affected countries will be quarantine at six major Indian airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Goa. Meghalaya imports pigs from other states as pork is one of the favorite staple food in the state. Veterinary officials said meat consumption in the state was 10,074 tonnes in 2007-08. “Pigs are mostly reared in the state and some imported from neighboring states,” said an official in Meghalaya. Meanwhile, veterinary doctors in Manipur on Wednesday intensified vigil in the Manipur-Myanmar border areas to prevent outbreak of the deadly swine flu. Although no swine flu case has been reported in India, the government intensified vigil to keep a watch on the outbreak of the flu in the state. ''Veterinary officials have intensified the vigil in the border areas, especially at Moreh, to check import of pig from Myanmar side,'' sources said. However, there is no ban on sale and consumption of pork within the state, he added. Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Wednesday also reviewed the state's preparedness in the wake of swine flu outbreak in Mexico and US at a high level meeting with senior officials here. The Chief Minister directed officials of animal husbandry, veterinary, health, revenue and disaster management to make all-out preparedness to prevent any virus outbreak, official sources said here. The officials have been instructed to circulate leaflets and launch awareness campaign through newspapers, radio and television, especially among the labourers working in pig farms and those rearing pigs in their homes. Officials of the health department said Union Health and Family Welfare ministry has assured support in terms of guidelines, experts, material logistics and laboratory, sources added. Officials of animal husbandry and veterinary department said they have issued a directive to the managers to pig breeding farms to monitor the health of animals and report if any symptoms are detected. Over 100 persons have died due to the outbreak of the deadly swine flu in Mexico.

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