No bird flu case found in Odisha so far: chief secretary

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 6 (PTI) The Odisha government on Wednesday decided to form Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) at the state and district levels to avoid the outbreak of avian influenza, though not a single case of bird flu is detected in the state.

Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra reviewed the possibility of outbreak of the disease which has sparked scare in various states. Of the 11,000 samples tested so far in the state, not a single positive case has been found so far, he said.

The samples were collected from different bird congregation locations like Chilika Lake which this year recorded the arrival of over 11.42 lakh birds, Bhitarkanika National Park (97,866 birds) and Hirakud Dam area (1.60 lakh birds).

While claiming that the state is well prepared to face any challenge, the chief secretary asked officials to intensify surveillance activities in order to counter and control any possible outbreak of bird flu.

Fisheries and Animal Resources Development secretary Raghu Prasad said that generally migratory birds are carriers of the avian influenza. Therefore, the state has to be very cautious and focus on the places attracting migratory birds.

Apart from bird congregation localities, samples were collected from the poultry firm of Odisha University of Agriculture & Technology and sent to the Animal Disease Research Institute at Phulnakhara for tests as a precautionary measure.

The state government also launched a training programme for poultry farmers of Khurda, Bhubaneswar and other areas to educate them about precautions needed against possible bird flu outbreak, he added. PTI AAM NN NN