Patna: Bird flu or avian influenza is threatening Bihar's poultry industry and an SOS has been sent to the central government on tackling the deadly H5N1 virus as the state lacks the resources to do so, a Bihar minister said.

The SOS was sent after the Bhopal-based High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) attributed the deaths of a number of crows across the state to the H5N1 virus, Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh said. "In January, samples were sent to HSADL.

Last month it found bird flu of H5N1 grade behind the death of crows in the state," Singh said.He said that the state government had sent an SOS to the central government to send a specialised team to Bihar for tackling the disease as the state lacks testing facilities.

"After it was confirmed that crows all over Bihar had died due to bird flu, it now poses a serious threat to the state's poultry industry and is a danger to the human population also," an official of the health department said here the H5N1 bird flu is a highly communicable disease.

It is also considered a pandemic threat across the world. However, no alert has been sounded so far to prevent panic among the public, the official added.

At the same time, the animal husbandry department has asked the people not to touch dead crows. It has issued advertisements in local dailies asking people to keep away from the dead birds and inform the administration when they spot dead crows.