First cases of avian influenza detected in Srinagar

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SRINAGAR: The summer capital, Srinagar, on Monday reported its first cases of avian influenza as the samples taken from dead crows at two different places tested positive for the disease, prompting precautionary measures by the authorities.

An official spokesperson said that samples from dead crows lifted near the Delhi Public School at Athwajan and the Flood Spill Channel at Peerbagh have tested positive for avian influenza – H5N8 strain. “The samples were sent to ICAR-NISHAD Bhopal for testing,” he said.

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He said now in accordance with the stipulated guidelines a 10-kilometer radius area around each of the said locations has been declared as alert zone. “Among other measures, surveillance and sampling will be conducted to ascertain and prevent the spread,” he added.

Meanwhile, panic has gripped several villages in the border town of Uri in north Kashmir district of Baramulla after dead crows were sighted for the second time in less than a month in three areas.

The locals have appealed to the administration to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter so that if the birds are infected the disease could be stopped from spreading by taking precautionary measures.

Official sources said that the result of the samples sent previously for testing will arrive in one or two days.