Crow death shadow spreads to Sambalpur

Bird flu panic spread to Sambalpur with the city and its adjoining areas witnessing the mysterious phenomenon of crows dropping dead on Saturday.

“We are really scared after we found three dead crows in our locality. We immediately intimated the authority about it,” said Radhey Shyam Verma, a resident of Nayapara area in Sambalpur.

Crow deaths were reported from Sambalpur satellite town of Burla earlier on Friday. Since migratory birds flock to Hirakud reservoir during winter, some people feel the winged guests may have a role to play in the death of crows in Burla town.

Sambalpur CDMO Bhakta Prasad Guru tried to allay fears of human infection due to bird flu. “The H5N1 virus cannot survive beyond 70 degree Celsius. Since we eat food after cooking it, chances of survival of the virus are quite negligible,” Guru said.

Veterinary officials said they have already collected samples of dead crows for laboratory examination to ascertain the cause of the deaths. “There are several reasons behind the death of crows. Severe cold is also one of the reasons. However, we have collected samples of the dead crows and sent it to Bhubaneswar. The samples will soon be sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute of Bhopal for laboratory examination,” said chief veterinary medical officer of Sambalpur, Bholanath Behera.

Restrictions have been imposed on the import of chicken from coastal Odisha as a precautionary measure, he said.

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