When India is already fighting against Coronavirus, some states have confirmed the cases of flu virus in birds. 

Rajasthan government has issued a bird flu alert after the death of hundreds of crows in several districts of Rajasthan including Jhalawar, Baran and Kota.

The principal secretary, animal husbandry, Kunji Lal Meena said that the crow deaths were first reported on 25thDecember,2020, from Jhalawar. The officials then sent some of the carcasses to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal and the carcasses were found infected with flu virus.  

Until now, 252 crows have been reported dead – 100 in Jhalawar, 72 in Baran, 47 in Kota, 19 in Pali and 7 in Jodhpur. Recently, seven crows were found dead at the Jal Mahal in Jaipur.  

The samples have been sent to Bhopal for bird flu testing. 

Kunji Lal Meena said that the bird flu virus is dangerous and asked field officers and poultry farm owners to stay more vigilant, ensuring that the flu does not infect domestic animals. He has also set-up a control room at the state level and sent officers to the districts to monitor all the sites carefully, especially near wetlands, lakes and bird sanctuaries.  

The Animal Husbandry Department has issued bird flu alerts in all the districts and also released necessary guidelines and instructions for disposing of dead animals.   

Not only in Rajasthan, several crows have been found dead in Madhya Pradesh. On 29th December, around 50 crows were found dead on Daly College’s campus in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Some of the samples were sent to Bhopal for bird flu testing and they were found to be infected with the flu virus. After that 20 more crows were found dead on Daly College’s campus. 

Indore Chief Medical and Health Officer Poornima Gadaria said that a survey has been conducted to identify people with cold, cough and fever in the residency areas around the college. 

Let’s know more about the bird flu, its symptoms, prevention and treatment  

Bird flu, also known as avian influenza, is a viral disease that mostly infect birds. But the virus can easily transmit to humans and other animals that come in contact with the infected birds. The virus can be deadly.  

H5N1 is the most common bird flu and the first bird flu virus to infect humans. People infected with H5N1 virus experience typical flu-like symptoms such as

  • Cough, runny nose and sore throat 
  • Headache and muscle pain 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Breathing difficulties 
  • Fever 

 To prevent bird flu infection, experts advise people to: 

  • avoid open-air markets in areas with high bird flu cases  
  • stay away from infected birds 
  • not eats undercooked poultry or eggs  
  • wash the hands regularly 

People exposed to bird flu should consult a doctor as soon as possible. After a confirmation test, the doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs such as Relenza and Tamiflu.