Bird Flu in Odisha – Alert issued

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BHUBANESWAR: With bird flu (H5N1) reported from Khurda’s Keranga village for the first time this season, the State Government on Monday issued an alert and prepared for culling of the poultry in the infected area.

After unusual mortality was reported among chicken in Keranga, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department (FARD) had sent samples to National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) at Bhopal. The samples tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza (AI) virus, Commissioner Cum Secretary Bishnupada Sethi said.

The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries of Ministry of Agriculture which issued an advisory to the FARD instructed that infected and alert zones be identified in 1 km and 10 km radius of the outbreak point respectively. The local body, veterinary and health officials should also be alerted to ensure restrictions in these two areas.

Accordingly, three Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) have been formed for the infected zone which is within 1 km radius of the village. Culling will start in this zone. Officers who were engaged during the last outbreak of bird flu in 2011-12 have been asked to participate in the operational work of control and report to the Chief Divisional Veterinary Officer, Khordha on Monday.

While a control room has been opened at the Directorate of Animal Husbandry to monitor the situation and to disseminate information, seven RRTs have been formed for surveillance and alert in the one to 10 km radius.

Sethi said, steps have already already taken to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, N-95 masks, formalin and sodium hydroxide for protection, disinfection of the infected area from the Directorate and Odisha Biological Products Institute (OBPI). All logistics for the purpose are on their way to Khurda .

The Ministry also directed that restriction on movement of any material related to poultry, eggs, dead carcass, manure, used litter, farm machinery and other equipment from the infected zone should be imposed immediately. Movement of such materials from the alert zone will also be imposed.

The State Department is already working out details for control and ban of movement of poultry and poultry products in and out of the infected zone.

Sethi said, awareness among the public on Avian Influenza will be created so that all the measures are undertaken without creating any panic among the poultry owners and consumers.