First Bird Flu case detected in Khurda

Bhubaneswar: Bird flu was detected for the first time in Odisha as the central laboratory confirmed the virus in two dead fowls in Khurda district, official sources said today. "The union government on Sunday communicated to the state about the detection of H5N1 virus in two dead poultry found in the backyard of a house," Satyabrata Sahu, Secretary of Fisheries and Animal Resource Development department told reporters.

Earlier the state government had sent the two dead poultry to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL), Bhopal after suspecting bird flu, he said. "A central team is likely to arrive here this evening to guide the personnel engaged in the field," Sahu said adding that the state government had not yet received any direction from the Centre on culling of birds in the affected area.

There were about 40,000 poultry in Keranga area of Khurda district, he said. Though the state was hit by bird flu scare earlier in 2005, 2006 and 2008, no H5N1 virus was detected in the state. However, some birds were culled then, sources said.