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Cablegate: Avian Influenza: Manipur Sitrep July 31, 2007

VZCZCXRO6812
PP RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHCI #0227 2121136
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 311136Z JUL 07
FM AMCONSUL KOLKATA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1621
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0052
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0022
RUEHPH/CDC CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA 1993

UNCLAS KOLKATA 000227

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AIAG - HSUMMERS, JLANGE
DEPT PLS PASS TO USTR AND HHS - WSTEIGER, DBELL, CHICKEY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFLU TBIO SENV EAGR IN BM BG PGOV
SUBJECT: AVIAN INFLUENZA: MANIPUR SITREP JULY 31, 2007

REF: KOLKATA 226 AND PREVIOUS

1. (U) SUMMARY: As of July 31, culling operations continued in
Manipur at over 34 locations in and around Imphal. Culling is
scheduled to be completed by July 31 and an assessment taken on
August 1. Although there is no news of the infection spreading,
there are unconfirmed media reports of another episode of
poultry deaths at a farm at Khurai. Even as the community in
Manipur actively supports the state machinery in culling
operations, the neighboring state of Nagaland continues to
prepare itself for a possible outbreak. END SUMMARY

2. (SBU) As of July 31, culling operations continued in over 34
locations in and around Imphal. Rapid Response Teams (RRTs)
culled more than 11,000 birds on July 30. According to Manipur
Veterinary Department sources, the total number of birds culled
since July 26 is now 137,944 which included chickens, ducks and
other domesticated birds. In addition, 20,249 eggs and 11,615
kilograms of poultry feed have been destroyed. Culling is
scheduled to be completed by July 31 and state officials will
re-assess the situation with GOI agencies on August 1 to decide
on next steps.

3. (U) The media, quoting Manipur Veterinary Department sources,
reported an episode of unusual poultry deaths at a farm at
Khurai, which is adjacent to Chingmeirong. The deaths of the
birds reportedly took place a few days back but went unreported
at the time. Apparently, the farm at Khurai was located within
the culling zone and some of the sick birds had in fact been
culled unknowingly. After the farm owners reported the matter
on July 30, veterinary teams collected fecal samples of the dead
birds and sent them for testing. Post contacts, however, could
not confirm the incident.

4. (U) Contacts in Manipur told Post that the state
government's drive to contain the spread of avian influenza has
received widespread public support. Local NGOs and community
organizations are cooperating in the culling drive by providing
support services. However, people's initial tendency upon
initiation of culling was to smuggle poultry out of the culling
zone. Nearly 1,000 birds have been seized in the past three
days by members of the public and police at various places after
they were smuggled out of the infected zone. These birds were
later culled.

5. (U) In neighboring Nagaland, state officials have formed 99
RRTs - with 15 people in each RRT -- and brought in hardware and
personal protective equipment. A central government team
visited Nagaland early last week to review preparedness
measures. Fogging is being carried out on vehicles entering
Nagaland from Manipur and Burma. The Nagaland Veterinary
Department routinely collects samples according to GOI
surveillance procedures, and has collected 700 poultry blood
samples since January 2007. These samples have tested negative
so far.

JARDINE

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