Kupwara, Feb 24: Cases of avian influenza popularly known as bird flu have been found among dead crows in north Kashmir’s kupwara district with the administration taking immediate measures to contain the spread of the disease.
Soon after the confirmation of the cases, District Magistrate Kupwara declared a one-kilometer radius from the epicenter as a red zone while a 10 kilometers radius from the epicenter was declared as alert zones.
According to an official communique a copy of which lies with news agency the positive cases of Avian Influenza among dead crows have been found in Payerpora, Gulgam, and District Treasury premises of Kupwara.
In response, the administration said that “Whereas it is imperative on the part of the administration that immediate necessary action should be taken to prevent the spread of infection to the poultry bird as well as to the general masses. Therefore, given the above, in the exercise of powers vested me under section 144 CrPe., I District Magistrate Kupwara do hereby ordered that declaration of the area within 1 km radius from the epicenters i.e. Payerpora Gulgam & District treasury Premises Rupwara as “infected zones”, Declaration of 10Kms of the area from the above-referred epicenters as “Alert Zones”.
The order further reads thag the Chief Animal Husbandry officer Kupwara shall conduct random sampling within 01 KM of the areas declared as “Infected Zones” and surveillance may also be intensified in the whole “Alert Zones”, bio-Security has to be strengthened and disinfection in the entire area, where the mortality in birds has been reported, to be carried out by Chief Animal Husbandry officer Kupwara in collaboration with Forest Department, Wildlife Department Kupwara and Municipal Council Kupwara, the dead birds (if any) should be disposed of by deep burial. For sample collection and testing, the whole bird may be sent to the lab and the dead bird should not be opened without ensuring bio-safety and Zoo-Sanitary measures. Surveillance of poultry may also be intensified in the areas.”
To prevent the spread of disease to poultry and human beings, the guidelines circulated vide letter of even number dated 28 September 2012 may be adhered to. Forest and Wildlife Department may also increase the vigil and surveillance in the area. An updated report on the location of the epicenter to be sent immediately to the Animal Husbandry Department as well as to this office, informing of the action of the development taken, their updated report must-have information on the date of start of the event, susceptible population Cases, deaths, killed or deposed, slaughtered), epidemiological comments, source of infection/origin of control measures applied so that the same can be reported to OE under the immediate notification, the official communique said.
It said that whereas to prevent the spread of disease guidelines/advisories are to be adhered to: Avoid contact with wild migratory birds, avoid contact with places where migratory birds use to visit for feed/water, Observe all Bio Security measures, Report any type of sickness in birds to nearest Veterinary center, Maintain strict personnel hygiene, Poultry farmers are advised to keep the farm premises and shed surroundings vegetation I free and feed supplies/Water protected, restrict the entry of visitors in the farm, Dead birds should not be thrown in open and shall be burnt or buried deep in the ground, All poultry dealers and retailers shall cooperate with Animal Husbandry Staff for sampling, there is no need to panic. Properly cooked poultry food can be taken as the H5N8 is sensitive to heat and dies at cooking temperature, district-level Monitoring/Control room has been set up in the office of District Nodal Officer-Chief Animal husbandry Officer/Poultry Development Officer Kupwara. In case of any unusual mortality in poultry/migratory birds contact immediately. Dr. Irshad Khoja, Veterinary Assistant Surgeon Kupwara (7006721396) Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad, Veterinary Assistant Surgeon Langate (7889858859)
Whereas The Poultry Development Officer Kupwara (01955252283) is designated as District Nodal officer for management of Avian Influenza (H5N8) in the District Kupwara, it further adds,
It stated that he shall ensure that District Block Level Surveillance teams constituted shall have the proper check, vigil, and surveillance for better management of Avian Influenza in the District, Whereas Tehsildars SHOs shall keep a strict vigil in their areas of jurisdiction and shall ensure the advisories are adhered to in letter and spirit, it adds.
Meanwhile, Veterinary assistant surgeon Kupwara Dr. Irshad Khoja told that sampling of dead birds was done already and found positive for the virus.
He said that “All the precautionary measures are underway in all the areas and sensitization and sampling will be done.”
Pertinently in the last 48 hours, cases of bird flu have been reported among dead crows in Anantnag and Shopian district while cases were confirmed among domestic geese in Bandipora.