Outbreak of Bird Flu predicted in NE states

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Shillong, Jan 30: Researchers at the North East Hills University (NEHU) here have predicted an outbreak of bird flu in the northeast states.

Two associate researchers Dr Dibyendu Adhikari and Arun Chettri of the Department of Botany, NEHU, have prepared a prediction map, which showed that many areas in the northeastern states have suitable environmental condition for spread of bird flu. A statement, issued here yeaterday, said that the prediction map of the high risk zones of bird flu in northeastern states was made through technique of Ecological Niche Modeling(ENM), which involves using Artificial Intelligence Algorithm known as the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-Set Prediction(GARP), along with the Geographic information System(GIS) technology.

GARP is an evolutionary computing method that builds distribution models, based on non-random associations between known occurrence points for species and sets of GIS coverages describing the ecological landscape.

The prediction map covers potential zones of bird flu in northeastern states of Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram. The low lying areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland also have chances of prolifirating avian flu, the map predicts.

In Meghalaya, the map showed the areas in and around Byrnihat, Baghmara, Tura and Zikzak have suitable environmental conditions for proliferation of bird flu virus.

The prediction map also highlights areas in West Bangal, where avian influenza had been spread and also most of the districts of Bangladesh.

In Assam the areas like Nalbari, Rangiya, Guwahati, Tezpur, Kamrup, Golaghat, Nagaon Diphu, Dhubri, Kokrajhar have high chances of proliferation of the bird flu, the statement said.

The analysis show that the areas in Assam, which have potential risk zones is due to migratory birds and proper monitoring of the areas visited by the migratory birds is needed to check the spread of bird flu, the statement added.


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