Bird flu scare: Samples collected from Bhitarkanika, Chilika in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: In the wake of H5N1 avian influenza also called bird flu detected in Paradip and Jagatsinghpur, panic spread in Kendrapara and Balugaon following death of crows.

As part of precautionary measures to prevent H5N1 virus, the district administration in Kendrapara and Balugaon wildlife division have collected samples especially from Bhitarkanika and Chilika where lakhs of migratory birds are still present.

Around 30 samples were collected from Bhitarkanika National Park after three crows were found dead on Tuesday evening.

A team led by Kendrapara district chief veterinary officer Dr Santanu Takri visited the National Park and collected samples of country and migratory birds. Also the samples of chickens and ducks and pond water from Dangamal and Khamarsahi villages in the district have been collected. The samples have been sent to Animal Disease & Research Institute at Phulnakhara for examining the bird flu virus.

However, Range officer Subrat Kumar Patra denied panic situation in Bhitarkanika due to bird flu.

On the other hand, swab and blood samples of birds were collected from Nalbana Bird Sanctuary on Feb 24 and sent to the lab institute at Phulnakhara for the test.

The samples will also be sent to research centres at Kolkata and Bhopal from Phulnakhara for further test.

However, the bird flu virus is not detected so far in the region, said veterinary officer Dr Debendra Kumar Soilanki.

Initiative will be taken immediately if the samples will be tested positive for bird flu virus, he said.

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