Bird flu is under control in Bihar, says Minister

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday said bird flu is under control in the state and that there was no need to panic.

“All precautionary measures have been taken to ensure the flu does not spread and human beings do not contract the virus,” said Modi, who also holds charge of environent, forest and climate change, at a high-level meeting in the state capital to review the bird flu situation.

Modi said the state was put on alert last week after six peacocks were found dead in Patna Zoo due to suspected bird flu. The zoo has been shut.

He said there is no possibility of bird flu spreading in the state as there are no reports of any fresh death of birds since December 30.

Blood and other samples of 26 species of birds from Patna Zoo were sent for tests in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. A second such sample would be sent on Jan 15. “The zoo will open only after tests confirm negative results,” he said.

Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey said all health centres in Patna are on alert for the flu and all measures have been taken to prevent the flu from spreading to human beings. “The situation is fully under control,” he said.

In the last week of December, a statewide alert was issued in Bihar over a suspected outbreak of bird flu after two separate incidents confirmed the presence of H1N1 virus in a section of the avian population in the state.