Experts fear that the death of an Akola-based 50-year-old veterinary surgeon could be due to bird flu. Samples of his organs have been sent by the public health department to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) based at Pune to confirm the suspicion.
The veterinary surgeon was deployed at Jalgaon to monitor the massive culling of birds, on the 29th of March, following bird flu outbreak in several areas of Maharashtra. He resumed duty in Akola after he was relived on April 4. A week after he was relived, he reported symptoms of giddiness and high fever.
The doctor who had worked in bird flu-affected areas was soon admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of the civil hospital. His condition however continued to deteriorate despite the best efforts of the doctors.
The death of the victim has created much panic in the entire veterinary community. Many veterinary officials have infact abandoned their duty in areas affected by bird flu. As doubts were raised about the cause of death and it's possible association with bird flu, samples of the lung tissue have been sent to the NIV laboratory, said Vijay Satbir Singh, Public health secretary.
'We are awaiting the report from the NIV. We are monitoring the investigations. But in my opinion, it wasn't a case of bird flu, since he had absolutely no symptoms of bird flu,' Mr. Singh said in an interview.