Health officials of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh will hold a meeting on Monday to decide a line of action to deal with the threat of avian flu in view of the detection of H5N1 virus in a bird at Sukhna lake last week.
A team from the Centre, experts from PGI and the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 will also attend. Sources said the meeting will review the work done so far to contain the situation, prevent transmission of flu to human beings, and measures taken in the area of surveillance which is three kilometre around the lake.
So far, health workers of UT Health Department have medically examined about 2,400 people for symptoms of avian flu in Kishangarh and Bhagwanpura villages near the lake. “Of these, about 20 people were found to have fever, but the cause was normal flu. There was nothing to worry,” said an official.
About 200 health workers are deployed on the job and they have to visit each and every house in the surveillance area. There are around 43,000 houses. “We have set a deadline of December 28, before that date we have to cover all houses within 1km of the lake. After meeting this deadline, we will move further to check houses in a 3 km area,” said a worker.
The workers look for symptoms of bird flu which include fever of 100.4 degree F or above, running nose, sore throat, body ache, malaise, diarrhoea, breathlessness. Questions are also asked if a person had come in close contact with an infected bird or droppings of the birds at the lake in the last 10 days. The health teams are also educating people.