Patna, March 18 (IANS) Even as the authorities are busy grappling with the challenges thrown by the coronavirus scare in the country, the Bihar government has increased vigil after reports of bird flu and suspected swine flu cases in the eastern state.
Bird flu has been confirmed after death of crows were reported from state capital Patna and several other places, whereas death of pigs in Bhagalpur has been attributed by veterinarians to swine fever.
Increased surveillance has been launched across the state in view of changing weather conditions and preventive steps taken in affected areas, including application of bleaching powder and lime, a senior official said.
An Animal Husbandry official told IANS that two samples drawn from the dead crows in Lohia Nagar in Patna on February 15 had returned a bird flu positive report.
Animal Health and Production Institute Director Dr Umesh Kumar said that precautionary measures have since been taken and the affected areas sanitised. A vigil has been mounted and samples drawn from butcheries in the affected areas.
Around 45 to 50 pigs had died in Bhagalpur in the last 7-10 days, including two on Tuesday and eight in Mayaganj on Sunday.
"These pigs died of swine fever caused by rain and hot weather conditions," Bhagalpur District Animal Husbandry official Dr Shambhunath Jha told IANS on Tuesday.
The samples from the dead animals have been sent to Kolkata and the report is awaited. Meanwhile, medicines to control the disease have been distributed to those rearing pigs for livelihood.