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Bird flu scare grips several Indian states after geese, ducks and crows fall dead

Multiple cases of avian influenza were confirmed among birds in several Indian states.

Himachal Pradesh:

Around 1,700 migratory birds, most of them bar-headed geese, have been found dead under mysterious circumstances in and around Himachal Pradesh’s Pong Dam lake In Kangra district.

The sale and purchase of poultry has also been banned in some parts of the district as a precautionary measure against the possibility of a bird flu outbreak.




Kangra’s district magistrate ordered no human or livestock be allowed to go in and around one-kilometre radius of the reservoir till further notice. A surveillance zone with radius nine kilometres has also been established around the water body to monitor the incident.

Rajasthan:

The dreaded virus was confirmed in dead crows in the Jhalawar district and many other cities, including Jaipur.

The bird deaths began from December 25 in Jhalawar, some 340km from state capital Jaipur. Most deaths have been reported among crows, with most of them from Kota and Jodhpur.



On Sunday, seven crows were found dead at the iconic Jal Mahal in the capital, taking the total deaths to 252 in the state.

So far, the death of 100 crows has been reported from Jhalawar, 72 from Baran, 47 from Kota, 19 from Pali and seven from Jodhpur and Jaipur each.

The samples were sent to National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal where the deadly virus was detected.

Kerala:

H5N8 strain of Avian Influenza has been confirmed in parts of Alappuzha and Kottayam.

“According to the established guidelines, birds in 1 km radius of the affected areas will be culled to contain the spread,” Minister K Raju told the media.

Around 12,000 ducks have died in the last few days, while according to the minister, another 36,000 are likely to be culled.

“The decision on compensation to farmers is to be finalised after discussions with the Chief Minister,” he added.

Madhya Pradesh:

Several crows were found dead in the city of Indore and more avian deaths were reported in other districts.




Officials said from December 23, 2020, to January 3, 2021, the state witnessed deaths of 142 crows in Indore, 100 in Mandsaur, 112 in Agar-Malwa, 13 in Khargone and 9 in Sehore district.

An alert has been sounded and a special watch on markets selling poultry and poultry products, farms, reservoirs and sites of migratory birds was ordered.

Bird flu is a highly infectious and severe respiratory disease in birds caused influenza virus, which can occasionally infect humans as well.