"Keranga village has been declared as the epicentre of the H5N1 A1 virus and culling operation within one km of the epicentre will begin from Tuesday. Ten Rapid Response Teams (RRT) have been formed, three for culling operation and seven for surveillance and sensitization in the alert zone identified in 10 km radius from the affected zone," said secretary of Fisheries and Animal Resources Department
, Bishnupada Sethi.
Following unusual mortality of chickens was reported in the village, Bhopal-based central laboratory National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal confirmed the detection of the bird flu after testing samples of chickens.
"Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)Kits, hepa-masks and required chemicals have already been sent to Khurda and persons involved in the project will be administered anti-viral drug to avoid infection. An awareness drive to be launched in association with health and other line departments in the area at the earliest," said Sethi. A control room has also been made functional, he added.
As per the advisory issued to the state by the ministry of agriculture, department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, an absolute ban on movement of poultry or its products from and to the infected area is to be imposed. AII poultry and egg markets/ shops in a radius of one km from the infected site immediately got closed. Movement of people to and from the farm premises to be restricted to requirements related to handling the disease with proper cover and disinfection procedures. Farm personnel in the infected area should not to be allowed to visit any other poultry farm.
A team of experts under the chairmanship of joint director public health visited the affected are on Monday. "A proper plan is being chalked out for control of the disease and creating awareness among the public. The disease transmits to human by close contact with the birds but will not infect humans by eating fully cooked chicken and egg in more than 70 degree centigrade temperature," said Dr Bikas Patnaik, joint-director of public health.
It is being a picnic and feasting season poultry farmers in the region are worried over the likely effect on business due to the bird flu outbreak. "Government should have taken precautionary measures earlier. In this season we do maximum business but now the sale will be badly affected," said Niranjan Barik, manager of a poultry farm near Jatani area. Poultry farmers and owners will be paid compensation for the forced culling of fowls, official sources said.