New Delhi: At least 5,840 birds infected with avian influenza or bird flu were on Tuesday culled in Pune district of Maharashtra. All the infected birds, tested on Sunday, were from two backyard poultries in villages in Mulshi and Daund talukas. According to reports, infected crows are said to be the source of the disease. Also Read - Pune Extends Night Curfew Till March 14, Schools And Colleges to Remain Shut. Here's What's Allowed, What's Not

The Maharashtra government has increased testing for bird flu after a series of suspect bird deaths were reported in the state. Samples collected are then being sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal. Also Read - Bizarre! To Tackle Bird Flu, MP Govt Bans ‘Movement of Birds’ in Certain Areas For 3 Months

“An area within a radius of one kilometre of these backyard poultries has been declared as infected zone and all precautionary measures, including spraying of disinfectants, are being taken to check the spread of the infection,” Maharashtra Animal Husbandry Commissioner Sachindra Pratap Singh told The Times of India. Also Read - Pune: Micro Containment Zones Likely to Return in District Soon, But no New Lockdown on Cards | Read Details

So far, five states including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Chhattisgarh have confirmed avian influenza in poultry birds. Culling operations are underway in these states. Meanwhile, nine other states have reported the disease in crows, migratory and wild birds.

According to the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, the central team formed for monitoring the situation in the affected areas of the country is visiting the affected sites. It has visited Maharashtra to monitor the epicentres of the outbreak and is conducting epidemiological studies. A visit to Kerala is also over.

However, the ministry also urged people to stay away from rumours surrounding bird flu. Properly cooked poultry meat and boiled eggs do not have any risk for human consumption, the government has repeatedly said.