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Bird flu outbreak: Centre issues advisory to contain spread

The wildlife authorities on January 5 confirmed avian influenza (H5N1) as the cause and has also asked other states and UTs to keep a vigil on any unusual mortality amongst birds.

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Bird flu outbreak: Centre issues advisory to contain spread
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Guwahati: Bird flu cases have been reported from several places in the country. In Himachal Pradesh, with the death toll of migratory birds rising to 2,401, and almost half of them being endangered Bar-Headed Goose visiting the Pong wetlands.

The wildlife authorities on January 5 confirmed avian influenza (H5N1) as the cause and has also asked other states and UTs to keep a vigil on any unusual mortality amongst birds.

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 Disease (NISHAD) in Bhopal found all birds positive for H5N1 avian influenza virus, according to the report.

In an order to all the states and UTs inspector general of forests, Rohit Tiwari wrote, “Considering the serious situation and the possibility of spread of the disease to humans and other domesticated animals/birds, the State/UTs are requested to take all possible steps for containing the spread of the disease in the respective State/UTs on an URGENT basis and also take up surveillance and monitoring of birds, for any signs of disease, and take appropriate measures for controlling it, on priority.”

The current bird flu outbreak comes few months after India on September 30, 2020, declared the country free from the disease. India notified the first outbreak of Avian Influenza in 2006.

Avian Influenza refers to the disease caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses. These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species.

It is a viral disease that is contagious and can spread from one bird to other birds and animals.

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