Avian Influenza: Odisha Govt observing any unnatural deaths, behaviour of birds

Bhubaneswar: For active surveillance and monitoring of birds, for any sign of suspected Avian Influenza; District Collectors, Chief District Veterinary Officers and Divisional Forest Officers have been requested to take all possible steps and appropriate measures for controlling it, on priority.

Migratory birds are the carriers of Avian Influenza and it spreads through faecal droppings, shared feed and drinking water of the birds. In Odisha, water bodies like Chilika lake, Anshupa lake, Bhitarkanika Wild Life Sanctuary and Hirakud Dam are the places where there is concentration of migratory birds.

Keeping this in view, the State Government is vigilant and is continuously observing any unnatural deaths and behavior of birds at these places. Action Plan on Preparedness, Control and Containment of Avian Influenza along with Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) has been circulated to all Districts and the Chief District Veterinary Officers have been instructed to follow it scrupulously.

Regular Surveillance Measures are being taken up through collection of tracheal swabs, cloacal swabs, environmental samples and serum samples of the birds by field veterinarians. Animal Disease Research Institute (ADRI) at State level, Clinical Investigation Laboratory (CIL) and State Veterinary Laboratory (SVL) at regional level and District Diagnostic Laboratory (DDL) at district level has been geared up with full strength for collection and testing of the samples. The samples are also sent to the Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RDDL) at Kolkota.

Until now around 11,000 samples have been collected and tested during the current bird migratory season. So far all samples have been tested negative for Avian Influenza. Today, around 300 samples have been collected from the field for testing.

A State level Control Room headed by the Joint Director, Disease Control (telephone no 0671 2414310) is functioning at Directorate of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services, Cuttack for redressal of any queries in this regard. In addition, Dr Bibhu Ranjan Das (Contact 79782 06404), Dr Sagarika Behera (contact 79781 05538) and Dr Madan Mohan Mahapatra (contact 9437313183 ) of Directorate of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services, Cuttack can be reached for any information regarding Avian Influenza by the public. General public including farmers, poultry entrepreneurs and poultry traders are requested to report any unusual mortality of birds occurring in flocks to the nearest Veterinary Officer or Chief District Veterinary Officer of the District.

Nine Special Supervisory Teams have been constituted at State level to immediately proceed to any suspected location of Avian Influenza in the State. Further, all CDVOs have been directed to constitute 10 to 15 Rapid Response Teams (RRT) at the District Level for prompt response to any reports of suspected case of Avian Influenza. People can consume chicken meat, eggs and other poultry products produced in the State with proper cooking.

In Govindpur village of Badaberana Gram Panchayat in Begunia block of Khordha District, around 120 poultry birds have been reported dead. After getting the information, a State Level Special Supervisory Team along with the District Level Rapid Response Teams rushed to the spot and took stock of the situation. Five of the dead birds have been taken to ADRI for laboratory investigation. All five samples have been tested negative for Avian Influenza virus based on the Avian Influenza virus antigen test. Rest of the dead birds was buried in deep burial method with proper disinfection measures. The Special Supervisory Team and Rapid Response Teams have sanitized the farm premises with proper application of disinfectants. There is no other case of death of birds in the surrounding area of the farm. However, more samples have been taken from adjoining areas for testing.

Government is in total readiness to control any situation arising out of this. General Public are requested not to be panic and can consume chicken meat, eggs and other poultry products with proper cooking. They are requested to report any unnatural death of birds to the nearest Veterinary Doctor / Chief District Veterinary Officer or to the State Control Room.

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