Bird flu cases in Himachal, Kerala, Rajasthan, MP; how it spreads, steps being taken to combat it
Avian Influenza is a disease caused by infection with avian flu Type A viruses. They are found naturally in wild aquatic birds around the world
Bird flu has been reported among wild geese in Himachal Pradesh, crows in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, and ducks in Kerala. The toll of migratory birds in Himachal Pradesh has now risen to 2,401, with almost half of them being endangered bar-headed geese visiting the Pong wetlands due to avian influenza (H5N1), as per DNA.
As per the report, Communication of the ICAR-National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) based in Bhopal revealed that five birds sent tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza virus by real-time RT-PCR tests. Following the revelation, the local administration has already sounded an alert by banning all human activities within a 10-km radius of the Pong wetlands in Kangra district.
The district administration on Tuesday also imposed strict restrictions in four subdivisions surrounding the wetland.
According to Kangra deputy commissioner Rakesh Kumar Prajapati, in the interest of protecting the health and safety of the public at large, the sale, purchase, and export of poultry, birds, and fish are prohibited in Fatehpur, Dehra, Jawali, and Indora subdivisions.
The division has also prohibited the practice of offering feed to birds and fish and no movement of livestock or domestic animals shall be allowed within 1 km of Pong Lake.
Meanwhile, the chief conservator of forests, wildlife, North, will ensure the quick burial of the dead birds and disinfection of infected areas.
Avian Influenza is a disease caused by infection with avian flu Type A viruses. They are found naturally in wild aquatic birds around the world and can infect domestic poultry as well as varied species of birds and animals. While they do not normally infect humans, avian flu viruses amongst humans have been reported.
Infected birds shed virus in their saliva, mucous, and excrement. While a rarity, human infections do occur when a sufficient quantity of bird flu virus enters a person's nose, eyes, or mouth.
In Rajasthan as well, more than 170 new deaths of birds were reported. However, officials say bird flu has been confirmed only in the state's Jhalawar district. In Kerala, birds such as ducks and hens have been culled within a 1 km radius of affected areas in Kottayam and Alappuzha as well.
In Madhya Pradesh a total of 155 dead crows in Indore have been found with the H5N8 bird flu virus since the pathogen was first detected a week back in the state, reports PTI.
Veterinary Department Deputy Director Pramod Sharma said 155 crows were detected with the H5N8 virus in the Residency area in Indore in the last eight days. The deadly avian influenza had not been found in any other bird species apart from crows here so far, he said.
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Although animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Giriraj Singh said there have been no scientific reports on transmission of bird flu to humans and consumers should not be scared, prices and demand for poultry and eggs has fallen in several states.
Samples collected from the dead birds have been sent to the forest department for further action, according to a wildlife warden.