Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bird flu detected at Hajo in State

GUWAHATI, Nov 27—Dreaded bird flue has struck the State. Official circles here said that the Bhopal-based High Security Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (HSADL) confirmed this evening the outbreak of the disease among the domesticated fowls of Thakuria Chuba of Rajabazar village under Hajo Revenue Circles of Kamrup district. This is the first case of outbreak of the dreaded disease in the State, said the sources.

Reports of unusual death of fowls in the area started coming since November 21. Meanwhile, reports of unusual death of fowls have also been received from parts of Sarpara village of Palasbari in the same district. The State Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department has already sent samples collected from the Palasbari birds to the HSADL, said the sources.

Samples collected from the Hajo area were sent to the HSADL on November 23 for confirmation. The experts of the Northeast Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (NERDDL) here collected the samples on November 21 and 22. The NERDDL also conducted preliminary tests on the samples collected on November 21.

The Directorate of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry here received reports of unusual death of domesticated birds from Thakuria Chuba, a locality inhabited by 25 families, on November 21. In the locality 87 fowls were reported dead on November 21. Of the birds, 62 were adult ones.

The next day, 66 birds were reported dead (48 adults), followed by 92 (56 adults) on November 23, 20 (12 adults) on November 24, 27 (19 adults) on November 25 and 32 (17 adults) on November 26. It is believed that at present there are around 100 fowls left in the locality, said the sources.

Now, since the HSADL has confirmed occurrence of the disease in Thakuria Chuba, culling operations will be taken up in an area of 5-km radius around the locality to create a bird-free zone so as to prevent spread of the disease to other areas, the sources said.

On the steps taken so far by the Directorate to prevent spread of the disease to other areas, sources said that immediately after receiving the information of the unusual death of the birds in the locality, a team of experts from the NERDDL headed by the in-charge of the Laboratory, rushed to the spot and took preventive measures and collected bio specimen and tested them at the NERDDL.

The experts collected morbid and sera samples from the area on November 22 and communicated the report of the development to the authorities concerned in the State and the Central Governments that day. The samples collected from the Hajo area were sent to the HSADL, Bhopal by special messenger with intimation to the Joint Commissioner (LHS) of the Central Government on November 23.

This was followed by the despatching of six Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) to the spot and necessary instructions were issued. The Department, in close association with the civil authorities, has been closely monitoring the overall situation in the area. The local people have also been made aware of the safe practices of poultry handling and proper disposal of the last remains of the dead birds.

On November 25, the Joint Commissioner (LHS) of the Union Government arrived at the city and held discussions with the departmental officers, State’s Veterinary Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners of both the Kamrup (Metro) and Kamrup districts. The Joint Commissioner also reviewed the situation on ground.

As per the direction of the Joint Commissioner (LHS), bio specimens from high mortality area were sent to the Pune-based National Institute of Virology by a special messenger and poultry population in the 0-5 km and 5-10 area around Thakuria Chuba were also calculated, said the sources.

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