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Two samples from Pune found positive for bird flu, central team to visit district

Two samples of poultry birds from Pune district were found positive for the bird flu virus of the 11 bird samples that were sent to the Bhopal laboratory
By Steffy Thevar, Pune
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 11:11 PM IST

Two samples of poultry birds from Pune district were found positive for the bird flu virus of the 11 bird samples that were sent to the Bhopal laboratory.

The district administration still awaits reports of 22 bird samples that were sent to the national lab and has now declared two villages in Mulshi and Daund infected zones and culled over 5,500 poultry birds.

A central team will now be visiting the district on Monday to check the arrangements put in place to contain the spread of the virus.

The National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal (NIHSAD) has confirmed the presence of H5N1, more commonly called as bird flu virus or the Avian influenza. It is reported that migratory birds that fly from the northern hemisphere infect poultry or domestic birds through droppings when they fly to the southern hemisphere during harsh winters. According to the World Health organization (WHO), there have been only 608 confirmed human cases of avian influenza since 2003-2012.

Although birds to human transmission is very rare, the district administration in Pune has culled over 5,500 poultry birds from farms within one kilometre radius where the infected birds were found.

Dr Shitalkumar Mukane, district deputy commissioner animal husbandry said, “We have got the test reports for all the samples that we sent before 14th December of which two tested positive. Till date we had sent about 33 bird samples to NIHSAD. We have culled 5,139 birds from Mulshi and 418 from Daund where positive cases were reported. These birds were from the farms reported within the one kilometre area from where the infected birds were found. The central team will now visit the rural areas in Pune to check if all proper arrangements are in place to prevent the spread.”

The samples that were sent consisted of bats, wild pigeons, crows and various backyard birds. Some of the symptoms displayed by the birds include diarrhoea, dullness and depression.

Pune zilla parishad chief executive officer Ayush Prasad said, “Our team will also try to catch all the possible wild birds that could be trapped to prevent the spread. I am on spot at various rural locations to ensure that all the containment zone measures are in place.”

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