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Confirmed H5N1 in Nine Districts in West Bengal

Recombinomics Commentary 11:51
January 23, 2008

The samples which tested positive were from Dinhata in Cooch Behar district and Balagarh in Hooghly district, he said.

In the already affected districts, the H5N1 virus was reported from more blocks in Nadia and Murshidabad districts.

Nadia District Magistrate Omkar Singh Meena said the virus spread to Haringhata and Nakhashipara blocks.

The above comments identify addition districts and blocks with confirmed H5N1 (see satellite map) and raise the number of districts with confirmed H5N1 to nine.

The location in Hooghly as about 30 miles from the center of Calcutta.  However, multiple locations with excessive poultry deaths have been identified in suburban Calcutta.

The blocks in Nadia were identified previously in local media reports on excessive poultry deaths.

These confirmations significantly trail the reports of poultry deaths, and the delays in confirmation cause delays in the start of culling operations.

Moreover, Nadia is the site of the suspect H5N1 fatality, indicating culling delays not only enhance further H5N1 spread, but also increase the risk for human infections.

The Hooghly location is due west of the earlier outbreak in Jessore in Bangladesh, where H5N1 spread has been rumored to be far more extensive than reported.

More testing of excessive poultry deaths would be useful.

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