Bird flu confirmed in poultry farm of Odisha veterinary college, all birds to be culled within 1 km
Odisha on Monday sounded a bird flu alert in Bhubaneswar after lab reports of several dead chickens in the poultry farm of the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology confirmed the presence of the avian influenza virus.
After the unusual death of some chickens at the OUAT’s poultry farms on Sunday, the university authorities had sent blood and stool samples of dead chickens to the Bhopal-based National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases for a test. “The sample test report received today confirmed the presence of H5N1 virus among the poultry. Steps have been taken for culling of chickens within one km of OUAT,” said the university’s Veterinary Pathology department head Sushen Panda.
Secretary of Fisheries and Animal Resources department, R Raghu Prasad said from Tuesday all the poultry birds within 1 km radius of the infected site will be culled and buried to contain the infection. “Our Rapid Response Teams will even cull backyard poultry within the 1 km zone. We have also declared the 10 km radius around the infected site as a surveillance zone. Our teams will collect blood, tracheal and cloaca samples from poultry birds in the surveillance zone at regular intervals,” Prasad said.
Once the infected area is sanitised, the poultry bird traders can start restocking within 1 week. As a precautionary measure, the walk-through aviary of the Nandankanan Zoo will be closed to visitors from January 28 until further orders.
Prasad said the people at large have no reason to panic and can eat poultry by cooking it properly. “The virus gets deactivated above 70 degree Celsius. Besides, the spread of the virus affecting humans is extremely rare and accordingly the people should not have any reason to panic,” he said.
Odisha last saw an outbreak of avian influenza in March 2019 when it occured in Cuttack and led to the death of ducks in the region.