The Delhi unit of the Department of Animal Husbandry has collected nine samples from three areas in the national capital to check for presence of avian flu or bird flu, which has already been reported in five states so far — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Haryana.
According to senior officials from the department, the samples have been collected in the last two days. On Thursday, four samples were picked up from Hastsal in West Delhi, where 16 wild birds had died. The samples have been sent to the Northern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Jalandhar.
“Five more samples were collected on Friday — four from Mayur Vihar Phase 3 and one from DDA park in Dwarka sector 9. Around 15 crows had died in Dwarka, while 17 crows have been found dead at East Delhi’s Mayur Vihar,” said Dr Rakesh Singh from the Department of Animal Husbandry
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia took note of the incident, following which the rapid response team visited the place.
“These samples will be sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal on Tuesday,” said Dr Singh.
H5N1 is a type of influenza virus that causes “highly infectious, severe respiratory disease in birds called avian influenza”, according to the World Health Organisation.
Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir have also witnessed unusual deaths of poultry, crows and migratory birds. The Centre has asked local authorities to boost surveillance around water bodies, live bird markets, zoos and poultry farms.
Sisodia had said on Thursday that there is no case of bird flu in Delhi yet and asked officials to keep a close watch on poultry birds coming in from neighbouring states to prevent any infection. Eleven rapid response teams have been set up to monitor Delhi’s potential hotspots.
Sisodia had also instructed officials to maintain a strict vigil on birds at major bird sites, especially poultry markets, water bodies, zoos and other potential hotspots. These include Ghazipur Fish and Poultry Market, Shakti Sthal Lake, Sanjay Lake, Bhalswa Horseshoe Lake, Delhi Zoo, and smaller water bodies in DDA parks.
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