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Bird flu: Manipur may be caught off guard

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  11 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT


IMPHAL, March 10: The Manipur government is yet to be jolted to reality notwithstanding the fact that bird flu has broken out in neighbouring Myanmar. The higher number of bird flu incidents was reported from Sagang region adjacent to Manipur.

Though the highway linking Imphal to Moreh, the border town which is the entrepot of the two countries is just 109 km, the distance as the crow flies is less than 40 km.

Besides thousands of traders and tourists visit Moreh everyday. In other words, chances of the disease spreading into Manipur are exceptiolly high.

Since the prices of chicken, ducks, fowls and eggs from Myanmar are comparatively low, hundreds of people have been bringing these items to Imphal everyday. In case the eggs and fowls are suffering from the disease, people of Manipur will become highly susceptible. In 2007, the government had issued a routine order to ban bringing of such live fowls from the other side of the border. The Manipur-Myanmar border is unmanned and unpoliced for all practical reasons which mean that there is no mechanism to check the smuggling of the diseased birds to Manipur.

Meanwhile, the educated sections of people have stopped buying chickens and ducks in and around Imphal since some of them might have been infected. Long time back they had also stopped eating pork since swine flu had broken out in Manipur. But then from the open sale of pork everywhere it is clear that there are thousands of people who are consuming the same unmindful of the disease.

One woman was confirmed to have contracted swine flu. Official reports said that she is improving. Blood and swab samples of some other persons had been sent outside the state for laboratory testing. Health officials appealed to the people not to spread rumour relating to swine flu incidence in Manipur. It was also officially stated that there are enough drugs to fight this disease.

Though there has been media awareness launched by the health officials so far they are not telling the people how this disease is contracted. In absence of such public awareness, the people do not know what preventive measures they must take. The health officials are merely telling the people how to do certain things to avoid man to man infection.

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