A senior official said on Tuesday, at least 48 crows were found dead in the Agar Malwa district of Madhya Pradesh, confirming the presence H5N8 virus (bird flu) has been confirmed. These crows died in the last four days in the district located 180 km away from Bhopal.
Agar Malwa district collector Avdhesh Sharma said, “We had sent the samples of the dead crows for a laboratory test. The result of these samples confirmed the presence of H5N8 virus (a variant of avian influenza or bird flu)”. He added 48 crows and a cockle were found dead in the Agar Malwa district in the last four days.
The collector said, “We have taken the samples of poultry. Officials of the departments concerned have been directed to follow the guidelines”. It was suggested in a meeting that markets selling mutton in the Agar Malwa district be closed as a precautionary step to prevent the spread of avian influenza.
After the mass death of crows, the samples were sent to the Bhopal-based National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), another official said.
A district-level control room, headed by the deputy director of the Animal Husbandry Department, Dr. SV Kosarwal, was also established. People were asked to inform about the death of birds immediately.
Additional Chief Secretary, MP Animal Husbandry and Dairy Department, JN Kansotiya issued directives to the districts, specially the bordering ones, to regulate the situation and attend to concerning complaints related to the unnatural death of birds.
Kansotiyasaid, “Migratory birds play a major role in spreading bird flu during the winter. Therefore, keep a special watch on the migratory birds coming to the water bodies and sanctuaries of the state”.
He also directed officials to collect the samples of migratory birds and from the chicken markets in the districts bordering other states and send them to the laboratory for testing.H5N8 is a subtype of the influenza A virus and is known to be lethal to wild birds and poultry.
Source: India Today, Deccan Herald