35,000 chicken die of bird flu in 20 days at Bidar village

35,000 chicken die of bird flu in 20 days at Bidar village

 As many as 35,000 chicken have died in 20 days at Melakera in Humnabad taluk, sending shockwaves among those in the poultry farming industry.

A total of 8,000 chicken had died on a single day at a poultry farm at Melakera on April 17. Ramesh Gupta, proprietor of Arunodaya Poultry Farm, said that initially he thought that the deaths might be due to the intense heat.

He got the chicken treated, but that did not help. The chicken are dying at the rate of 500-600 per day. Gupta said that he had brought the matter to the notice of the officials concerned.

A team of the Animal Husbandry Department led by Dr Shivamurthy visited the place and sent the organ samples to a laboratory in Bengaluru for testing. Department officials said the mass deaths might be due to bird flu.

Another team of experts, including those from the Department of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services and the Fisheries university, is expected to visit Melakera and conduct tests for infectious diseases.

Bidar Deputy Commissioner Anurag Tiwari on Sunday held a meeting of officials of the departments concerned and directed that necessary steps be taken. Tiwari told Deccan Herald that the chicken would be culled if laboratory tests confirmed that it was bird flu.

Meanwhile, Animal Husbandry Minister A Manju confirmed to reporters in Bengaluru that the chicken deaths were due to bird flu.

Over 1 lakh birds to be culled

Bengaluru: A series of measures have been put in place by the department of health and family welfare, following reports about the outbreak of avian flu in Bidar. Officials of the department have urged people to eat only completely cooked meat and not consume raw eggs.

Dr Vimala R Patil, director, department of health and family welfare, said that even though no cases have been reported from other parts of the state so far, it was advised that people consume chicken only after it is cooked thoroughly and not eat raw or semi-boiled eggs.  A five-member rapid response team headed by Dr Harshavardhan, a senior official in the department, and comprising doctors, microbiologists and a chief health officer from the Health department has been asked to do a spot inspection in Bidar and it left the city on Sunday.

“Measures have been put in place to ensure that the one lakh plus chicken are culled immediately and the eggs are destroyed and buried to contain the spread of the disease,” said Dr Patil. 

As a precautionary measure, those who came in contact with chicken will undergo medical examination and will be given Tamiflu tablets.

An anganwadi in Bidar has been converted into a makeshift hospital to provide treatment should any person be identified with the symptoms. Hospitals with ICU facility have been identified in Bidar and Kalaburagi districts and beds have been kept ready to attend to emergency cases. Dr Patil said that a surveillance team from Delhi will also be visiting the state. The staff of the ‘104’ Arogyavani helpline have been updated about the flu and the precautionary measures to be taken. Anyone can avail details about the flu by calling ‘104’, Patil said.

Precautions

Do not eat raw or par-cooked chicken
Do not eat raw or semi-cooked eggs
Maintain hand hygiene
Change clothes immediately on coming into contact with poultry

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