A majority of residents in Hessarghatta just a kilometre away from the Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO) campus were not aware of the bird flu outbreak.
Though the officials of the Department of Animal Husbandary said they had sensitised people about precautionary measures, several people, however, said they were not.
Lakshmamma, caretaker of a government land, owns six hens. But she is not aware that the turkey unit where the bird flu deaths occurred is less than a km away. “We don’t know about bird flu. No one spoke to us about it,” she told Express.
But Hessarghatta gram panchayat president V Jayalakshmi said she had alerted people about the avian flu outbreak using tom-toms and loud speakers.
Beena (name changed), wife of a poultry attendant at the CPDO unit, said there were no protective measures taken for the families of workers. Her husband, however, had been given a seven-day course of antiviral tablets along with a protective mask, she added.
“Officials must take steps to protect our families as well. Our house is right across the bird units. What will happen if the disease spreads?” asked her husband.
Cleaning operations, including fumigation, are still on in the CPDO compound. And all workers have been given antiviral tablets.
The Animal Husbandry Department officials asked the authorities of a school situated just next to the CPDO campus to remain closed for some time. Following this, the school announced holidays for 15 days.