Officials to continue tracking H5N8 virus

The animal husbandry department will continue to track samples of birds from the surveillance zone around the farm where the bird came from.

Published: 13th January 2018 02:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th January 2018 08:12 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The animal husbandry department will continue to track samples of birds from the surveillance zone around the farm where the bird came from and will permit trading of birds only if further samples test negative for avian influenza. The department has identified the virus to be of the H5N8 strain and tracked the source of the infected bird to a private poultry shop in Dasarahalli which procured the bird from a farm in Gundammanahalli, Magadi taluk.

Samples collected from the infected bird from the shop were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHAD) in Bhopal and the institute confirmed on December 30 that it was avian influenza. The department also collected samples from the farm and these tested negative in a city-based lab. However, as part of protocol, they have been forwarded to NIHAD as well and reports are awaited.
“From the farm in Gundammanahalli, these birds were distributed to the shop. We collected around 12 samples and these tested negative. For confirmation, we have sent it to NIHAD and are waiting for those reports. These birds were not from Tamil Nadu,” said Dr M T Manjunath, director, department of animal husbandry and veterinary services.

Over the sample collected from the shop, he said, “The virus strain has been identified as H5N8. On December 30, we got an e-mail from NIHAD that it was avian influenza. I issued the sanitation certificate last Monday.” He explained that the department would continue to forward samples collected from the surveillance zone every fortnight from last Monday — January 22,  February 5,  February 12 and February 19, till the samples test negative. “If they are negative, we will allow movement of birds otherwise the exercise will be repeated till it is negative,” he said.

Explaining why the production of a vaccine to treat avian influenza was tough, Manjunath said, “There are two antigens in this virus — haemagglutinin and neuraminidase. They keep having different combinations. Every three years the virus strain mutates. First, it was H1N1, then H7N7 in Pakistan and then H5N1 in Vietnam. That is why we are not able to produce a vaccine because the virus keeps mutating. Both H5 and H7 are communicable to human beings,” said Manjunath.

Infected zone
1 km radius from where the bird was found
zone under watch
10 km radius from where the bird was found
Tests to be carried out again on :
22 January
05 February
12 February
19 February 


H5N8 outbreaks around the world
October 2016
Hungary, Austria and Germany
November 2016
The Netherlands, India, Israel, S Korea
December 2016
United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Germany
January 2017
France, Nigeria, Spain and Slovenia
February 2017
Northern Ireland
June 2017
Zimbabwe,South Africa
December 2017
Saudi Arabia, India 

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