Dharamsala residents fear bird flu outbreak

Dharamsala, Jan 13 With hundreds of migratory birds flocking to the region, the residents of Dharamsala fear an outbreak of deadly H5N1 virus.

The area around the Pong Dam in Himachal Pradesh is a center of attraction for migratory birds.

People in the area don''t feel safe with the arrival of the birds. They are scared about being infected with the deadly H5N1 virus is real.

"The Government should test the birds that have come here. We are apprehensive if they have got the virus. We are running a small business. If the virus spreads here, then our business will be ruined," Dharam Chand, a villager.

As per the counting till January 7, over 1, 14,000 birds of different 74 species have come here this year and the number is increasing every year.

"The Central Government has decided a regimen under which the department of animal husbandry collected the droppings of these birds and sent the samples to the government approved laboratories. I am happy to say that till now there is no report of any positive sample," said Sameer Rastogi, a wild-life conservator.

Bird flu first broke out in India in 2006 and millions of chicken and ducks were culled to contain the virus. Although it has resurfaced from time to time, there have been no reports of any human infections in India. (ANI)