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Bird flu, Orissa samples test negative

Blood samples taken from poultry and people suspected to have been infected by bird flu in Orissa have tested negative, say officials.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2008 11:28 IST

Blood samples taken from poultry and people suspected to have been infected by bird flu in Orissa have tested negative, officials said on Wednesday.

"We had collected blood samples from thousands of birds from various parts of the state as well as from all suspected patients soon after getting the news of the bird flu outbreak in neighbouring West Bengal," Bishnupada Sethi, director of the fisheries and animal resource development department, told IANS.

"The bloods samples were sent to different laboratories of the country. We have received the test reports and all of them were found to be negative," he said.

The state government is, however, not taking any chances. It has sealed all the borders with West Bengal and Jharkhand and banned the import of poultry from these states.

Apart from sealing borders, hundreds of veterinary officials have been deployed to check vehicles coming in from West Bengal, Sethi said.

"We have asked the collectors of all 30 districts to remain alert and draw samples from birds that have flu-like symptoms," said Hrusikesh Panda, secretary of the fisheries and animal resource development department.

"We have placed advertisements in all newspapers and television channels, asking people not to panic," he added.

The state government has also asked the central government to provide 500,000 doses of bird flu vaccines and declare that the villages bordering West Bengal and Jharkhand are free from the disease.

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