Hyderabad: Bird flu (H5N1 virus) broke out in a village in Ranga Reddy district of Telangana and the process of culling of an estimated 1.45 lakh birds has been initiated. "There is a confirmed outbreak of bird flu...avian influenza in Thorur village of Hayatnagar mandal in Ranga Reddy district," Animal Husbandry Department Director D Venkateswarlu said.
He said five of the about ten samples sent to Bhopal-based High-Security Animal Disease Laboratory confirmed the infection. District authorities in Ranga Reddy, Mehboobnagar and Hyderabad (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits) held emergency meetings on Tuesday and as per the standard operating procedure laid down by the Centre, one km area around the affected farm was declared as 'infected zone' and up to ten kms as 'surveillance zone', Venkateswarlu said.
"In fact, we have started eliminating the affected and healthy birds in the infected zone. As per the preliminary information, there are five farms (in the one km radius) and the poultry number is 1.45 lakh," he said.
The entire culling process would be completed within 72 hours, Venkateswarlu said, adding that more than 65 teams, each headed by a veterinarian are on the field undertaking the exercise. The movement of poultry from the surveillance zone has been banned. "No bird and egg will go out of this," he said.
Seeking to allay apprehensions, he noted that the virus is "very fragile" and gets killed when the poultry meat is cooked at 70 degree centigrade for 20 minutes, adding that rapid response teams have been formed to check people coming in contact with the infected birds.