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India - H5N1 virus found in samples sent from Panchkula

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  • India - H5N1 virus found in samples sent from Panchkula

    Bird flu: Highly infectious H5N1 virus found in samples sent from Panchkula
    by Tanbir Dhaliwal and Gagandeep Jassowal, Panchkula
    PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 12:40 AM IST

    The National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal, has confirmed presence of the highly infectious H5N1 influenza virus in four samples collected from farms in Panchkula’s Barwala-Raipur Rani poultry belt. The lab also confirmed the presence of H5N8 virus in samples from four other poultry farms.

    It was on January 7 that the Bhopal lab first confirmed bird flu (H5N8) at two poultry farms in the area. The following day, the Northern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (NRDDL), Jalandhar, sent more suspected samples from four farms to Bhopal for confirmation. The Panchkula administration, too, collected samples from more farms where mortality was high and sent them to Bhopal.

    “Four samples positive for H5N1 avian influenza virus,” states the report released by the Bhopal institute on Saturday evening, a copy of which is with HT.

    Confirming the development, Dr Mohinder Pal Singh, director, NRDDL, Jalandhar, said: “Apart from our lab, samples were collected by a team of experts from the central government as well. They have found presence of H5N1, which is the most dangerous. Unlike H5N8 strain, its transmission to humans is more, and hence it must be controlled.”...“The fear remains about mutation of this virus (H5N1) inside human beings. No one can tell how it will react after mutation. To avoid a pandemic among humans, this must be controlled at the animal level only,” said another expert, who did not wish to be named.

    The report further mentions that samples from four farms – Maharaja in Khatauli, Tara-1 and Tara-2 in Batour and Single in Mauli – have tested positive for H5N8 avian influenza virus...