Jalpaiguri/ Malda (WB), Mar 28: Authorities in West Bengal have heightened measures after a fresh outbreak of bird flu was reported from Jalpaiguri district, as culling operations continued elsewhere in the state. "We have received reports of fresh outbreak of the disease in the area. We have organized the meeting of the district officials of the area to do the needful," said Bonamali Roy, a district official in Jalpaiguri.
Hundreds of birds were found dead in the district earlier this month after which samples were sent to a laboratory in Bhopal. The reports have now come positive. Meanwhile, culling operations continued in Malda district where fresh outbreak of bird flu was detected with the death of about 1000 chickens in the past few days.
Veterinary staff were now killing not only the poultry at the affected farm in Malda, but also about 44,000 chickens and ducks in nearby areas to ensure the virus didn't spread.
According to officials, poultry sales in West Bengal have fallen by about 70 per cent since the avian flu first hit the state in January, but it has had limited impact elsewhere in the country.
In January, the H5N1 virus affected 13 of the state's 19 districts but in the following weeks some 3.4 million birds were culled by the authorities who claimed to have contained what the World Health Organization described as the worst outbreak of bird flu in India.