Several Indian States report bird flu amid COVID-19 outbreak; alert sounded in Kerala, Rajasthan
First Published Jan 5, 2021, 3:43 PM IST
Bird flu outbreak has been confirmed in Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, India has reported the emergence of bird flu since last week. The presence of the virus is confirmed in the dead birds in Madhya Pradesh and Kerala while Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, too, have a strong suspicion of avian influenza in dead birds.
The bird flu is a highly infectious and severe respiratory disease in birds caused by H5N1 influenza which can spread to human beings and turn fatal.
Himachal Pradesh: Samples of dead migratory water birds found at the Pong Dam Lake in Himachal Pradesh have tested positive for avian influenza or bird flu. RT-PCR testing of samples of five dead Bar-Headed geese conducted at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal found all birds positive for the H5N1 avian influenza virus, according to the report. Around 1,800 migratory birds, most of them Bar-Headed Geese, have been found dead in the lake sanctuary so far.
Kerala: The Kerala administration has sounded a high alert after bird flu cases were reported in Kottayam and Alappuzha districts. To contain the avian influenza outbreak, the officials have ordered the culling of ducks, hens, etc in one kilometre radius of the affected areas. The bird flu was reported from Nedumudi, Thakazhy, Pallippad and Karuvatta. Around 1,700 ducks have died in a duck farm in Neendoor panchayat in Kottayam district. Around 40,000 domestic birds will be culled to check the spread of the H5N8 virus. Culling of poultry begins in regions where bird flu was detected. In the next 3 days, more than 48,000 ducks will be culled by the Animal Husbandry department. To prevent the spreading of the infection, the birds will be burnt or buried.
Madhya Pradesh: The emergence of bird flu has caused alarm in Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur district where the presence of the virus has been confirmed in dead crows. Around 100 crows died in Mandsaur between December 23 and January 3. Dr Manish Ingole of the Animal Husbandry Department of Mandsaur said, "Bird Flu has been detected in four samples of dead crows sent to the state lab." A medical team has been dispatched to conduct surveillance within 1 kilometre of the infected area by the district administration, he added. The state government has issued an alert over the H5N8 avian influenza. Animal husbandry department officials in every district have been put on alert and asked to follow Standard Operating Procedures to check the spread of the virus.
Rajasthan: In Rajasthan, deaths of more than 170 new birds were reported from some districts on Monday, taking the total fatalities in recent days to over 425. "Bird flu has been confirmed only in Jhalawar (district). Report of other deaths is yet to come," according to the state animal husbandry department.
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