While the world is still reeling under the impacts of COVID-19, many states in India are now also reporting large-scale outbreaks of the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1). Although cases have been reported every year since 2006, when H5N1 was first detected in India, this year has already set records for the number of cases discovered and the geographic spread. From Himachal Pradesh in the North to Central and Southern India, mortality in several species of birds is being reported. Due to these outbreaks, large-scale culling of poultry has been initiated to control the spread of this disease as per the new guidelines issued by the Government of India, resulting in massive economic losses.
However, given that there have been no reported cases of H5N1 in humans in India, is this response proportionate to the threat? What can India do to better prepare for this annual occurrence? What role can ecologists, conservationists and citizens play in increasing our understanding of this disease? How can we better integrate One Health principles in the surveillance and control of this disease?
The panel will address the risk of emerging zoonoses and India’s preparedness, especially in the context of the biodiversity and climate crises that the world is facing.
This webinar is organised by the Biodiversity Collaborative in collaboration with the National Biodiversity Authority, Bird Count India and supported by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government
1. Dr. Farah Ishtiaq, Tata Institute for Genetics and Society - Centre at inStem (TIGS-CI), Bengaluru
2. Dr. Taej Mundkur, Wetlands International, The Netherlands
3. Dr. S. Nagarajan, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Bhopal
4. Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance Program & NCBS-TIFR, Bengaluru
5. Dr. Ravi Chellam, Metastring Foundation, Bengaluru
Dr. Abi T. Vanak, DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance Program & ATREE, Bengaluru