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Kohima: Following the recent ingress of highly-pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in the country particularly in states like Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland’s Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services (AH&VS) directed all Chief Vigilance Officers (VCOs) to issue “red alert” notice to create awareness among the public about the of the risk of bird flu to the avian and human population.

The state’s AH&VS on Thursday issued an advisory about the preparedness, control and containment of Avian Influenza which is caused by H5N8, an Influenza Type- A Virus.

The public has been advised to report unusual sickness and mortality of poultry birds, ducks, and pet birds to the nearest Veterinary Health Centre.

Handling and consumption of poultry birds/ducks which have died suddenly have been warned of. However, consumption of healthy poultry birds/ducks/turkeys and so on are ‘safe’.

The poultry owners have been advised not to mix outside (unknown source) live poultry birds/ducks with the existing stock to prevent the transmission of diseases.

Poultry entrepreneurs, farmers, businessmen who deal with importing eggs, day-old chicks, ducklings, live birds, and ducks into the State are requested to mandatorily produce the state of origin, and refrain from importing such stocks from the diseased outbreak and its neighbouring States.

All CVOs’ are to issue “Red Alert” notice to all Subordinate Officer, Field Officers, Staff and Village Functionaries on the ingress of the disease in the country and impress upon strong disease reporting system within the respective district through Education and Communication Campaign and familiarise the public about the risk to the avian and human population.

All CVOs’ are also advised to coordinate with the Forest and Wild Life Department on the status of wild birds. Areas with water bodies in the district which are also being visited by migratory birds are required to be extra vigilant.

All CVOs’ are also required to activate the existing Rapid Response Team (RRT), and if any changes are required due to transfer, retirement, the CVOs’ are to reconstitute the team. The RRTs’ have also been directed to be connected with the grass-root level for two way communication.

Further, all CVOs’ are required to contact the Control Room in the Directorate Office for Avian Influenza (HPAI) related matters and also ELISA Laboratory, Kohima for further surveillance and sample collection, as per the advisory.

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