Bird Flu in Rajasthan: 7 crow deaths in Jaipur, teams sent to districts

The first-ever incident of bird flu in Rajasthan is a serious concern for the government and for the people, who are already struggling with Covid-19.
Death of crows in Rajasthan’s Jhalawar has been confirmed the presence of the Bird Flu virus.(Sushil Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Death of crows in Rajasthan’s Jhalawar has been confirmed the presence of the Bird Flu virus.(Sushil Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jan 03, 2021 02:27 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Jaipur | BySachin Saini | Edited by Abhinav Sahay

The Bird flu scare continues to grow in Rajasthan with deaths of seven more crows reported on Sunday at Jal Mahal in Jaipur, taking the toll to 252. The animal husbandry department has sent teams to districts and set up a state-level control room to monitor the situation.

The first-ever incident of bird flu in Rajasthan is a serious concern for the government and for the people, who are already struggling with Covid-19. The bird flu (Avian Influenza) caused by the virus H5N1 is contagious and fatal.

In March 2020, the death of dozens of crows due to Bird Flu was reported from various parts of Bihar, which sparked fear among the residents amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2006, the death of chickens due to this flu was reported from Maharashtra.

Principal secretary, Animal Husbandry, Kunji Lal Meena said deaths due to this virus are mainly reported among crows and majority of cases have been reported from Kota and Jodhpur division.

“The flu is dangerous and guidelines have been issued. All the field officers and others have been asked to be vigilant. The poultry farm owners are asked to be more vigilant and effective monitoring is being ensured at all sites, especially at wetlands, Sambhar Lake and Kaila Devi bird sanctuary,” said Meena.

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Meena said the death of crows was first reported on December 25 from Jhalawar and the samples of the dead crows were sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) at Bhopal, which confirmed Bird Flu as the cause of deaths.

Till date, the death of 100 crows is reported from Jhalawar, 72 from Baran, 47 from Kota, 19 in Pali and seven each from Jodhpur and Jaipur.

Department secretary, Arushi Malik said the government of India’s guidelines for containment of Bird Flu are being followed and an alert has been sounded in all districts.

Department additional director, Bhawani Rathore said, “The situation is not alarming but we are vigilant, ensuring that this virus does not enter domestic animals. The guidelines are followed and dead animals are buried.”

He said that over 75 samples have been sent from various places for testing.

Chief wildlife warden, ML Meena, said the department has sounded an alert and field staff is asked to be more vigilant. The Avian Influenza has been confirmed only in Jhalawar but directions have been issued to track water bodies and suspicious deaths of birds.

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