Karnataka: Bird flu outbreak, 23k chickens dead

9 May 2016 | Written by Ramya ; Edited by Vaneet Randhawa

A massive outbreak of bird-flu caused by H5N1 virus has been confirmed in Bidar district, Karnataka.

The infected birds belonged to Arunodaya Poultry Farm owned by Mr. Gupta in Melkera village, Humnabad taluk.

Karnataka government has ordered to cull all birds (~1,30,000) at the farm.

Samples collected from the farm were sent to 'National Institute High-Security Animal Diseases' (Bhopal), where they were tested positive.

In context: Massive bird flu scare in India

What is H5N1 virus?

H5N1 is a subtype of the “Influenza ‘A’ virus” that causes diseases and destroys immune system in humans and other animal species. Bird-adapted strain of H5N1 is known as HPAI A(H5N1) which causes avian influenza, commonly called ‘bird flu’.

2006-08 Bird flu outbreaks disrupt poultry industry

Navapur village in Maharashtra was one of the first places to be affected by bird flu in India; in Feb'06, villagers reported deaths of thousands of chickens.

After testing samples, it was proved that the birds were affected by H5N1.

In 2008, West Bengal fell prey to the massive avian influenza outbreak; lakhs of birds in at least 13 districts were affected by H5N1.

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9 May 2016Karnataka: Bird flu outbreak, 23k chickens dead

Birds from the same farm died in April

Gupta approached the Animal Husbandry department in mid-April after 8,000 chickens of his farm died. A total of 34,000 chickens have died in his farm over the last month.
Karnataka government issues alert

9 May 2016Karnataka government issues alert

Following the death of over 23,000 chickens, the Karnataka government issued an alert as a precautionary measure against the spread of H5N1 virus.

Karnataka animal husbandry department organized a meeting attended by the Minister A Manju, and decided to cull birds in one-kilometer-radius, and carefully monitor birds in three-kilometer-radius from the infected farms.

Karnataka government stated that the affected farmers would be given compensation.

9 May 2016Experts to oversee culling process

Scientists visited the infected farm and told its owner Ramesh Gupta not to move the birds or eggs out of his farms or sell any of them.

An expert team would supervise the culling of birds and sanitize the area; other preventive measures are taken to keep the situation under control.

Joint Director of IAH&VB and his team is expected to visit Bidar.

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9 May 2016Watch for potential H5N1 sources: Govt cautions farms

Minister Manju said that there was no need to panic as there were no other farms in the village.

Farm owners were asked to watch for potential sources including chicken, ducks, and other migratory birds which might carry the H5N1 virus.

The state government has opened a control room to provide assistance to poultry farm owners and issued a contact number for immediate help.

9 May 2016Culling begins at the affected farm

As ordered by the state government, culling of over 1.3 lakh chickens has begun in the Arunodaya Poultry Farm in Humnabad taluk of Bidar district.

All the birds at the private farm are expected to be culled by Wednesday.

A total of 50 teams comprising five members each started the process, who would also clear an area of one-kilometer-radius surrounding the farm.

26 Nov 2016India confirms H5N8 bird flu outbreak in Karnataka

India has proclaimed the break of a highly infectious bird flu virus in Karnataka.

The H5N8 virus was affirmed amongst birds in Itagi village and the 1593 birds suffering from it either died or were culled.

The H5N8 bird flu virus was also found in other countries in Europe and West Asia in the last few weeks.