Incidents of Pigeons Dying Reported in the City

Port Blair, Jan 12: There have been reports of death of large number of birds including migratory birds from several parts of the country. The preliminary reports indicate that it is a case of Avian Influenza Virus. Considering the grave situation, the Government of India has requested the States/ UTs to take all possible measures / precautions to prevent the transmission of diseases, if any, in other animals/ birds and human beings.

Avian Influenza, as per World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) is defined as infection of poultry caused by any influenza A virus of H5 or H7 subtypes or by any influenza A virus with an intravenous pathogenic index greater than 1.2 (or as an alternative at least 75% mortality).

Meanwhile, people have reported incidents wherein pigeons were seen dying in large numbers in the city. The matter has been reported to the Wildlife Division and is being investigated.

In view of the fact that large number of migratory birds visit Andaman & Nicobar Islands during this season, possibilities of transmission of Avian Inflenza virus to these Islands cannot be ruled out. The affected birds display symptoms of Tremors, Diarrhea, Head Tilt and Paralysis. The disease spreads quickly causing paralysis and staggering. The virus is transmitted between affected poultry and recently from poultry to wild birds and vice-a-versa.

The Wildlife Division of A&N Forest Department has called upon the general public to be cautious. They are also advised and requested not to touch any dead birds and report the mortality to the Control Room of Wildlife Division, Haddo over phone number 03192-245229 or Range Officer (Protection) over Mobile No. 9474264109 or to the nearest Veterinary Hospital/ dispensaries.