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Some 200 birds die of avian flu in India’s Rajasthan state

The disease has been mainly detected in Kuranja birds, or Demoiselle cranes, which are found in several parts of Rajasthan. Image: File

NEW DELHI: Around 200 birds have died due to avian influenza in India’s western state of Rajasthan over the past few days, confirmed a top forest department official on Sunday.

The disease has been mainly detected in Kuranja birds, or Demoiselle cranes, which are found in several parts of Rajasthan.

“The Avian influenza is feared to spread to cattle,” added the official.

According to District Forest Officer (DFO) Ramesh Kumar Malpani, samples of some dead birds were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD) based in Bhopal city in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

“Testing of the sample at NIHSAD confirmed the presence of H5N1 avian influenza virus,” said Malpani by phone.

In view of a threat of global outbreaks of avian influenza and apprehensions of a human pandemic, India’s federal government had prepared an action plan in 2005 to deal with such situations.

The plan proved very useful to contain and control the first outbreak of avian influenza in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh states. Since then, several outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza have been reported in different parts of the South Asian country.

Based on the subsequent outbreaks in the poultry, the action plan was revised in 2006, 2012 and 2015 to work as guidance for state governments in the prevention, control and containment of avian influenza in India.


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