Delhi has become the ninth state to confirm cases of bird flu amid suspicion over deaths a number of crows in a park in Delhi Mayur Vihar locality in the national capital.
The Indian Express has reported that all eight samples which include four from a park in Mayur Vihar Phase 3, three from Sanjay Lake, and one from Dwarka have been found positive for avian influenza. Dr. Rakesh Singh from the Animal Husbandry unit of the Development Department confirmed the cases on the basis of test results that arrived on Monday morning.
As a precautionary measure, the state has banned the import of live birds and the biggest wholesale poultry market in Ghazipur has been temporarily shut down.
On Thursday, January 7, a team of government veterinarians had collected nine samples from three areas in the national capital to check for the presence of the flu. In the last two weeks, several Indian states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, and Haryana have reported cases of bird flu that has been spreading widely.
Four samples were picked up from Hastsal in West Delhi, where 16 birds died. These samples were then 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," the doctor had said, as reported by The Indian Express.
"These samples will be sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal on Tuesday," he had informed.
The H5N1 is a type of influenza virus that causes a highly infectious, severe respiratory disease in birds called the "avian influenza", said the World Health Organization.