The coastal state of Orissa has woken up to the scare of bird flu in the state after thousands of poultry died in neighbouring West Bengal. The state on Tuesday alerted veterinary officials to take precautionary measures against a possible outbreak of the avian fever.
At least 10,000 poultry in a West Bengal village died over the past 10 days but authorities are yet to confirm if the deaths were due to the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu. The birds died in Margram village of Birbhum district, about 200 km from West Bengal capital Kolkata.
"We have alerted collectors in all the 30 districts of the state and asked them to remain on high alert for a possible outbreak," state health secretary Chinmay Basu told IANS.
"We do not have any specific report of bird flu in the state but are taking measures to meet any eventuality," State Animal Husbandry Minister Golak Nayak told IANS.
He added that wildlife officials of Chilika Lake, Bhitarkanika National Park and Nandankanan Geological Park have also been alerted as millions of migratory birds thronged the water bodies this winter.
There was a mass culling of poultry in Maharashtra in February 2006 after cases of bird flu were detected among chickens there.
The World Health Organisation later declared India bird flu-free.