Bird flu scare in Bengaluru: 900 fowls culled after H5N1 avian influenza virus is detected; Karnataka govt starts awareness campaign

As many as 900 fowls were culled after the H5N1 avian influenza virus was detected in a dead bird in Bengaluru, civic officials said.

The Karnataka health and family welfare department has also begun an awareness campaign to put in place measures against suspected bird flu cases, reported The Economic Times.

 Bird flu scare in Bengaluru: 900 fowls culled after H5N1 avian influenza virus is detected; Karnataka govt starts awareness campaign

Representational image. Reuters

"A chicken was found dead on 29 December at a chicken shop in (suburban) Dasarahalli area and it was confirmed after lab tests that the bird was infected with the H5N1 avian influenza virus," Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Joint Commissioner S Nagaraju told IANS.

Samples from the dead bird were sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal and had tested positive, he said.

"On orders from the Animal Husbandry Department, we have culled a total of 900 birds so far within the region where the infected bird was found," he said.

H5N1 virus-infected birds spread the virus through their saliva, mucus, and faeces. Although the virus does not usually infect people, it can cause fever, diarrhoea and respiratory illnesses in some affected people.

The Animal Husbandry Department had on Tuesday declared an area of one-kilometre radius from where the bird was found dead as the "infected zone" and an area of 10-kilometre radius as the "surveillance" zone. It also ordered meat shops in the infected region to be shut down.

"Meat-selling outlets within the one-kilometre radius from the site where the infected bird was found have all been sealed and we are also inspecting the area in the 10-kilometre radius for any possible virus-infected birds," Principal Secretary, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Rajkumar Khatri told IANS.

The department has also started sanitation measures at Dasarahalli, according to The Hindu. Senior officials said sodium hypochlorite is being sprayed in a one-kilometre radius of the shop where the chicken was tested positive for the flu.

Authorities have also put a check on the sale of eggs in Dasarahalli to prevent the spread of the virus.

"We are following all the government procedures while culling (requiring the fowls to be culled in the same region where the infection was detected) to make sure there is no spreading of the virus," Khatri said.

The civic officials have also issued an advisory to Bengaluru citizens to avoid consuming uncooked chicken and eggs as a precautionary measure.

"We will be following up and holding inspections until we are 100 percent sure that we have eliminated the virus completely," said Khatri.

In an official statement, the Union agriculture ministry said a central team comprising two experts has been deputed to Bengaluru for overseeing the operation and to assist the state government. It further said that the situation is fully under control.

The team visited the local primary healthcare centre and had a detailed discussion with the medical officers and paramedical staff regarding preventive measures taken and surveillance to be continued, reported ANI. The measures taken by the state government have been approved to be satisfactory so far, the report added.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jan 07, 2018 12:37:40 IST