Representational Image
Representational Image

A bird flu alert has been sounded in Madhya Pradesh after presence of the dreaded virus was found in dead crows in Indore and more avian deaths were reported in other districts, said officials on Monday.

Animal Husbandry Minister Prem Singh Patel said the state's Rapid Response Team is setting up a control room in Indore, where avian influenza (bird flu) has been detected in the samples of dead crows.

The Animal Husbandry Department has issued an alert and directed officials to monitor the situation arising out of the mass death of crows in several districts, said the official from the MP Public Relations Department.

The official said from December 23, 2020, to January 3, 2021, the state witnessed deaths of 142 crows in Indore, 100 in Mandsaur, 112 in Agar-Malwa, 13 in Khargone and 9 in Sehore district.

Their samples were sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal for analysis, Patel said.

The minister said, Instructions have been given to all districts of the state to be vigilant and take action as per the Government of Indias guidelines." He said officials have been told to keep special watch on markets selling poultry and poultry products, farms, reservoirs and sites of migratory birds.

Earlier on Friday, a health official at Indore had confirmed that avian influenza has been detected in crows whose carcasses were found in the campus of an educational institute, putting the authorities on alert.

"Nearly 50 crows were found dead on the campus of Daly College. Some of the carcasses were sent for tests to Bhopal.

They were found to be carrying the H5N8 virus," Indores acting Chief Medical and Health Officer Poornima Gadaria told told PTI.

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