Authorities in J-K take precautions to prevent bird flu outbreak

January 19th, 2009 - 3:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Srinagar, Jan 19 (ANI): With migratory birds flocking Jammu and Kashmir, authorities are taking all measures to prevent outbreak of avian flu.
A large number of birds take their flight to the Kashmir valley every season as temperatures dip.
The Departments of Animal Husbandry in the state has alerted its staff around all wet lands of Kashmir valley to keep watch for any virus.
“There are over 500, 000 migratory birds that have come to the State this year. Our team has come here to collect samples and droppings of the birds since the concentration of the virus is in the droppings,” said Altaf Ahmad Baba, Director Animal Husbandry, Jammu and Kashmir.
A well-qualified team of doctors equipped with special kits, including masks, gloves and footwear are collecting the droppings of migratory birds for testing purposes.
“During winters, a large number of migratory birds throng the region. Our team of doctors is going to the spots to collect samples and test in the laboratories,” said Abdul Hameed, a lab assistant.
West Bengal has been fighting to contain intermittent outbreaks of the virus in poultry since last year.
India has culled millions of chicken and ducks to contain the virus since its first outbreak in 2006, but has reported no human infections.
Experts have warned the H5N1 virus might mutate or combine with the highly contagious seasonal influenza virus and spark a pandemic that could kill millions of people across the world. (ANI)

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