States Warned Against Spread Of Avian Influenza

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New Delhi: Following the death of a large number of birds in Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala, the Centre asked the state governments to “take all possible steps for containing the spread of disease (H5N1 avian influenza) on an urgent basis” and warned them of “possibility of spread of the disease to humans and other domesticated animals/birds” on Tuesday.

Urging the states and UTs to increase surveillance and monitoring of birds for any sign of disease, the environment ministry sent a note to chief secretaries. The note quoted ICAR’s Bhopal-based National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases report which said the “samples had tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza” — a virus which is transmitted between affected poultry and also from poultry to wild birds and vice-a-versa, reported The Times of India.

The samples (five dead bar-headed goose) collected from the wildlife sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh’s Pong Dam were tested by the institute. The samples tested positive via real-time RT-PCR test.

Thousands of birds, including migratory birds, have died in the past few days. The ministry, calling the situation “serious”, sent chief wildlife wardens of all states/UTs the generic guidelines relating to avian influenza and said measures must be prioritised to control it.

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