BHUBANESWAR/CUTTACK: Within hours of the first positive cases of avian influenza, the State Government on Monday put all districts on alert. Wildlife officials of Chilika and Bhitarkanika, the two major birding sites, were asked to enhance surveillance and monitor their avian population constantly.
A ring of high alert was thrown around the Keranga village in Khurda district and surveillance enhanced as the authorities are waiting for the full advisory to be issued by the Centre following detection of H5N1 in poultry in the area. A team from Delhi is expected to arrive tomorrow.
The around three km radius of the village has been declared a “restricted zone” with any movement of poultry in and out prohibited. Health teams have been mobilised by Khurda Collector Roopa Mishra to the area. “There is no need to panic as we have put necessary surveillance measures in place. We have to follow the protocol and are keeping a close watch,” Secretary, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department Satyabrata Sahu said.
Senior officers of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services including director AHVS Benudhar Das camped at Khurda to supervise the surveillance and emergency preventive measures undertaken by special teams rushed into to the zone.
The Animal Disease Research Institute (ADRI) has deployed five expert teams in the region to continuously monitor the evolving situation.
The Government said, there was no report of any poultry or domestic birds being affected in Keranga. There is a large poultry producing farm in the village but till now none of the birds has been affected. Vaccination has started and close watch is kept on their behaviour.
However, more crow deaths were reported in the region on Monday with around 12-13 birds recovered by the surveillance teams and given deep burial. The whole area was sanitised, ADRI officials said.
Adequate number of protective kits for the personnel working in the field has been provided. “All measures are being taken and the whole machinery is in readiness to take steps as per the Central Advisory as soon as it is issued for the State,” Director Das said. Meanwhile, the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) which works on migratory birds was asked by the Chilika Development Authority (CDA) to band and collect swabs from the suspect species. Similar efforts were being carried out in Bhitarkanika too.