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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08KOLKATA46 2008-02-06 12:09:00 UNCLASSIFIED Consulate Kolkata
Cable title:  

AI IN W. BENGAL-SITREP 17

Tags:   KFLU TBIO EAGR SENV PGOV CASC AMED ECON IN 
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VZCZCXRO0687
OO RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHCI #0046 0371209
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 061209Z FEB 08
FM AMCONSUL KOLKATA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1863
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE USD FAS WASHINGTON DC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0087
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME PRIORITY 0016
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEIDN/DNI WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA 2278
					  UNCLAS KOLKATA 000046 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT PLS PASS HHS-STEIGER AND HICKEY AND CDC-COX AND BLOUNT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFLU TBIO EAGR SENV PGOV CASC AMED ECON IN
SUBJECT: AI IN W. BENGAL-SITREP 17

REF: KOLKATA 43 AND PREVIOUS



1. (U) SUMMARY. As of February 6, no new districts were added
to West Bengal's H5N1 map, but there were reports of unusual
bird deaths in three AI-affected districts. GOWB resources
continue to be shifted from culling to mop-up and disinfection
mode. Observation and isolation facilities have been
established in all West Bengal districts. The virus outbreak
and the recent ban on poultry trading has had a severe economic
impact on the state's backyard poultry farms, which account for
40 percent of the state's USD 1.3 billion poultry industry.
Neighboring states, including Orissa, are culling birds as a
preventive measure. End Summary



2. (U) For a second day, the GOWB Animal Resources Department
did not designate any new districts in W. Bengal as affected by
AI. GOWB figures still put five municipalities and 48
administrative blocks in 14 districts of West Bengal as
AI-affected. However, reports of unusual poultry mortality came
in from three affected districts: about 20 birds died in
Murshidabad, 45 in South 24 Parganas and 66 in North 24 Parganas
districts (these deaths actually occurred on February 4).
Samples from the birds have been sent for testing and culling is
continuing in these districts.



3. (U) The total number of Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) deployed
stands at 298. Some RRTs are stopping their surveillance work
and are now performing disinfection and sanitation in the
affected areas. The number of RRTS involved in culling as of
February 4 is 151.



4. (U) 24 human samples have been tested for H5N1 and 23 have
reported negative, with one pending. All the 14 affected
districts now have observation wards in place at primary health
centers and isolation facilities at Sub-divisional level
hospitals. Eleven persons were kept in these facilities until
February 5; eight have been discharged. Twenty-three
ventilators have been installed and three more are being
installed.



5. (U) Initial assessments of the economic damage to W. Bengal's
poultry industry are also coming. Some media put the size of
the state's poultry industry at USD 131 million, but the
chairman of Arambagh Hatcheries - one of the largest hatcheries
in India - told Post that the actual size would be ten times
more, i.e. USD 1.3 billion. The blanket ban on poultry trading
and transport imposed by the GOWB (reftel) has impacted both the
organized poultry sector (USD 790 million) and the backyard
farms (USD 510 million). Most of the infected poultry come from
backyard farms and the impact of the outbreak will be felt most
severely in these rural areas. Poultry industry representatives
are likely to put pressure on the state government to review the
ban.



6. (U) Preventive culling has started in Jharkhand, Bihar and
Orissa, and continues in Assam. According to the Indian
Express, Orissa, which had resisted imposing preventive culling
efforts, began culling a day after Orissa Chief Minister Naveen
Patnaik met with members of his cabinet about the GOI directive.



7. (U) COMMENT: As the AI outbreak in West Bengal appears to
be stabilizing, with no new reports of AI infections in the last
few days, post will reduce the frequency of its sitreps.

JARDINE