Forest officials have sounded a bird flu alert at the habitats of migratory birds' in Bhitarkanika National Park here following detection of flu infection in Karnataka. Precautionary measures have been initiated to find out possible flu infection of avian species here, forest officials said. "A joint field survey by wildlife personnel and state veterinary wing officials is currently under way within the bird-infested pockets of the national park," said Forest Range Officer (FRO) A K Nayak. The team is yet to sight sickness symptoms in the birds, Nayak said. The forest department and veterinary experts are on the alert and are keeping close watch on avian species, he added. The forest officials have also been instructed to keep a watch on birds inhabiting in the park, said Chief District Veterinary Officer (CDVO) Sumant Kumar Mohapatra. Leaflets and booklets are being distributed among the villagers living near the national park to create awareness, Mohapatra said. No death of bird has been reported as yet, he said, adding, instructions were on to segregate the birds found drooping from other birds and conduct blood sample test check. A Rapid Response Team (RRT) has been constituted in all nine blocks of the district, Mohapatra said. Forest and veterinary officials are also keeping a close watch on the migratory birds and other species since they are prone to carry the H5NI strain of avian influenza, he said. We have already started examining some avian species in Bhitarkanika but could not find any sick birds, he added.
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