Bird flu scare in Rourkela, Keonjhar town; vets on toes

Rourkela/Keonjhar: Suspecting spread of bird flu in Rourkela, the Sundargarh administration has formed four teams to collect blood samples of birds in the steel city and nearby areas.

Talking to newsmen, Rourkela Sub Collector Himanshu Sekhar Behera said, “The Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) authorities were asked to close the Indira Gandhi Park for visitors suspecting spread of bird flu among birds kept in a zoo located inside it. Besides, the symptoms of bird flu were observed in birds in the CISF campus.”

Besides, the officials at the District Veterinary, Municipal Corporation and Health department were alerted by the district administration about chances for spread of bird flu. The rapid response team has also been given training on how to control the avian flu.

The Joint Secretary of the Disease Control and a scientist have reached the Steel city to take stock of the situation.

Meanwhile, after two crows were found dead at different places in Keonjhar town, a team led by the District Veterinary Officer reached the spot to collect samples of the carcasses.

Also read: Central team takes stock of bird flu in Kerang

Jaladhara Mallick, chief veterinary doctor, said, “We will send the samples to the Animal Disease Research Institute, Phulnakhara for a test. If the institute thinks it would be appropriate to send the samples outside the state, centres at Kolkata or Bhopal will be considered. Further action will be decided after getting reports from the tests.”

Commenting on the bird flu scare in the State, Agriculture and Fishing Minister Pradeep Maharathy told newsmen in Bhubaneswar, “The disease was detected in Kerang village of Khurda district so far following which 845 birds were culled and 151 eggs buried under soil. Compensation was also provided to bird owners of Kerang for the loss incurred because of the culling.”

Samples from Rourkela will be tested at the laboratory to get confirmation on bird flu spread. The minister added.