The Karnataka health and family welfare department has put in place measures against suspected bird flu cases and has begun awareness campaign after chickens died due to suspected H5N1 virus infection on December 29. As many as 900 fowls were culled after the avian influenza virus was detected in a dead bid, civic officials said.
“A chicken was found dead on December 29 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.
He further added that samples from the dead bird were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal and had tested positive.
"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.
The infected birds spread the virus through their saliva, mucus and faeces. Though, the virus usually does not infect people, it can cause fever, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses in some affected people.
The Animal Husbandry Department had on Tuesday declared an area of 1km radius from where the bird was found dead as the “infected zone” and an area of 10km radius as the “surveillance” zone. Meat shops have also been ordered to remain shut.
"Meat-selling outlets within 1 km radius from the site where the infected bird was found have all been sealed and we are also inspecting the area in a 10 km radius for any possible virus-infected birds," Principal Secretary, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Rajkumar Khatri told IANS.
Check on the sale of eggs in Dassarahali has also been put in place 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.
Bengaluru residents have also been advised to avoid consuming uncooked chicken and eggs as a precautionary measure.
"We will be following up and holding inspections until we're 100 per cent sure that we have eliminated the virus completely," said Khatri.