Chhattisgarh records first cases of bird flu in Balod district

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Raipur, Jan 14 (PTI) Chhattisgarh on Thursday recorded its first confirmed cases of bird flu after samples taken from chickens that died at a poultry farm in Balod district tested positive for avian influenza, an official said.

The samples were collected from five out of over 150 chickens that were found dead at GS Poultry Farm in Gidhali village under Dondi development block, said Matheshwaran V, director of state veterinary services.

These were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal on January 11 to ascertain the cause of death, the official said.

'Reports of all five samples came positive for H5N8 avian influenza virus on Thursday,' he said.

In the wake of the confirmation, all districts have been put on alert and directed to follow precautionary protocols, the official said.

As per the Central government's guidelines, the area within 1 km radius of the poultry farm has been declared as an 'infected zone' and the Rapid Response Team (RRT) has launched necessary action, he said.

Transportation of poultry will be prohibited, while restrictions will also be imposed on the movement of people and vehicles in the infected zone, he said.

Apart from this, the area from 1 km to 10 km of the poultry farm has been declared as a 'surveillance Zone', where monitoring of poultry birds will be carried out, the official added.

Another veterinary officer said, culling of the poultry birds at the farm will be carried out on Friday.

As per the guidelines, the birds will be buried in a 10 feet dip pit and salt and bleaching powder will be sprinkled in it.

Disinfectants will also be sprayed to prevent spread of the virus while filling the pit, he added.

The birds which were earlier found dead in the farm have been buried in keeping with the protocols, he added. PTI TKP ARU ARU