Another strain of AI confirmed in HP, Vigil beefed up

Photo used for indicative purpose only. Source: Internet

Shimla, Jan 18

With confirmation of another strain of bird flu among poultry birds by a Bhopal based lab on Monday state wildlife authority has further sounded active surveillance and alert to contain the outbreak in winter habitats from migratory birds to poultry birds or vice -versa.

About 5000 migratory birds and domestic birds have died of Avian Influenza H5N1 Virus
in the Pong Dam Wild life Sanctuary area and other places since confirmation of outbreak on 6 January, 2021.

It was after this outbreak that dead poultry birds were found dumped to few places along the road in the state.
The samples of  these birds were sent to the NIHSAD Lab at Bhopal  confirmed positive for Avian Influenza-H5N8 on Monday.

Principal Conservator of Forest(wildlife) and Chief Wildlife warden Archana Sharma said that 15 more dead birds were found dead at Pong Dam WLS on Monday and 21 birds were recovered on Jan 17. The total  mortality count till date in the Pong Dam Lake wildlife sanctuary rose to 4936 in the state.
The AI virus-H5N1 which is more pathogenic to the birds and animals were detected in the dead migratory birds earlier. However it was different to the H5N8 strain of AI or Bird Flu virus which was detected in the poultry birds by the department of Veterinary on Monday, she said.
The Department of Veterinary would be able to reveal the pathogenicity of H5N8 as the wild life authority is not aware of the report about its confirmation, she added. 
The spokesman of the department said a high level review meeting convened to mop up the undergoing operation in the WLS by the department of wildlife and vetenary to contain the AI in the Pong dam WLS.

The forest and wild life authority decided to beef up the ongoing vigil and active surveillance on all wintering habitats of migratory birds in the state and to deal any unusual mortality in
wild birds as per recommended protocols with confirmation of the.

Ten Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) of Wildlife Wing would continue to work in the wetland for collection and safe disposal of dead birds as per protocol till no mortality is recorded.

The wildlife Wing and its field offices are containing the outbreak to preventing  further spread to domestic poultry.
The advisires were issued to ensure all bio-safety measures for their protection against Avian Influenza virus.


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