Kendrapara, Jan 29 (LocalWire): On Wednesday, the authorities began collecting wet fecal droppings and serum samples from the migratory birds and poultry farms at the Bhitarkanika National Park and its nearby areas in the Kendrapara district in the wake of the bird flu threat in Bhubaneswar.
A team of veterinary doctors visited the park and collected 120 serum samples from the poultry farms and wet fecal droppings of 30 migratory birds.
The samples will be first sent to Animal Disease Research Institute (ADRI) in Cuttack. From there, they will be dispatched to the High-Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal, said Dr Suresh Chandra Mishra, the Additional District Veterinary Officer (Disease Control), Kendrapara.
The forest and veterinary officials distributed leaflets and booklets amongst the villagers near the park to spread awareness about the bird flu.
The surveillance of migratory birds continues at Bhitarkanika, Satabhaya, Hukitola and other major habitats as migratory birds have already arrived in large numbers near the water bodies and the mangrove forest in the park.
Dr. Mishra said, “Because the bird flu virus does not survive in a temperature above 39 degree Celsius, such bird flu cases are reported only in winter.”
“We have also requested the farmers rearing poultry birds to utilise this opportunity and approach the nearest veterinary dispensaries to get the birds vaccinated to prevent the viral disease,” the ADVO said.
“A Rapid Response Team (RRT) has been formed in all the blocks of the district. 22 Veterinary Assistant Surgeon (VAS), many livestock inspectors, Zilla Parisada members and social workers are its members,” added the ADVO.
Forest and veterinary officials are keeping an eye on the migratory birds, particularly the Bar-headed Geese, the Bramihin Duck, Plovers, Pintails and other migratory species as they are more likely to carry the H5NI strain of avian influenza.
The officer informed the LocalWire that if the avian influenza strain (H5N1) mixes with a human influenza strain, there by producing a new strain, it could even spark a human influenza pandemic which causes great numbers of deaths and are also usually accompanied by significant social and economic disruption.
WHO has advised all its member states, including India, to monitor their animal populations in case the H5N1 strain of avian influenza is detected.
Edited by Meenal Singh