A high alert has been sounded in Chhattisgarh after Bhopal based High-Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) confirmed bird flu in samples of birds that died mysteriously in Balod district early this month.

The central government has intimated the state administration about the findings of HSADL on samples taken from various places in Balod district where 13 crows and 274 chickens were found dead mysteriously early this month. It was precisely the same time when the deadly Avian flu was setting its foot in neighboring states with confirmed cases in several places.

The state government has instructed the veterinary department to ensure all possible measures and contain the disease as soon as possible. Veterinary officials have been monitoring the situation closely and samples are being collected daily from 1042 broilers, 42 layers, 12 breeder poultry traders, and 7 government-owned poultry farms. Administration in all the districts has been advised to ensure strict watch on poultry shops, reservoirs where migratory birds from far trans- Himalayan areas flock to avoid harsh winters in Siberia and other parts of Eurasia. Panic had gripped due to the mysterious death of several hundred birds in Korba and Balod districts. Preliminary investigations, however, could not ascertain the exact cause of the death of birds.

Korba resident Bablu Marwah had reported on 9 January, the mysterious death of more than 36 of his pet pigeons amid fears of an ‘Avian-flu’ outbreak following similar deaths of around three hundred birds reported from Balod district on a day earlier.

Preliminary investigations, however, could not ascertain the exact cause of the death of pigeons. Samples from the mortal remains of deceased birds were sent to High-Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) Bhopal for further investigation.

Veterinary experts then estimated that prima facie symptoms did not indicate the death of pigeons due to ‘Bird flu’. “Generally, when the bird catches avian flu, a fluid is seen trickling from his nostrils and eyes besides swollen anal opening. Both of these symptoms have not been found in dead pigeons here”, they had said. Deficiency of vitamin C could have triggered such a large number of deaths among the birds, he opined. A state-wide alert was issued by the veterinary department to the people who rear birds to closely monitor their pets and report the administration immediately if they notice a trickling fluid from their nostrils and eyes to avoid an outbreak of scary disease.

Over 3,400 birds culled in Parbhani:

More than 3,400 poultry birds have been culled at a village in Maharashtra’s Parbhani district after bird flu was confirmed as the cause of death of hundreds of hens there, a senior official said on Thursday. Last week, around 900 hens died at a poultry farm in Murumba village of Parbhani. The district administration later decided to cull birds in one-km radius of the place where the deaths took place.