Odishatv Bureau

Paradip: An outbreak of avian influenza, also called bird flu, has been reported from the port township after samples collected from different poultry farms and the dead crows tested positive for the H5N1 virus.

The veterinary officials had collected samples from poultry outlets and sent them to Animal Diseases Research Institute (ADRI) for examination after large number of crows were found dead every other day in the town and its vicinity. However, the report has confirmed the detection of H5N1, officials said on Thursday.

"The district administration has confirmed the outbreak of avian influenza in Paradip area what we suspected earlier following death of crows and other birds. We will shortly create an awareness drive to prevent people from consuming eggs and meat of any bird ", said Basant Biswal, Paradip Municipality chairperson.

"The poultry farms have been asked not sell and transport their items for a temporary period. If they don't adhere to the order, we would act tough on them and cull the poultry birds before burying them in deep pits," he added.
Biswal also informed that preventive measures have been taken to check further infection of the virus.
Sources said restriction is likely to be imposed on transport or selling of birds from these areas to outside.

On the other hand, the report of bird flu has triggered panic among the poultry farm owners as this is their peak season due to the wedding time. They have feared that their business will get affected badly in the marriage season.

"Veterinary officials had collected blood and stool of chicken for examination a few days ago. They had advised us to close the shop if the sample tests positive for bird flu. But, they are yet to come with the report," said Rubul Das, a chicken trader who has stocked a large number of avian species keeping weeding season in view.

Locals earlier had suspected the spread of avian influenza following mass death of crows.
However, animal husbandry officials had suspected the deaths were due to the chilly weather condition.