The dreaded avian influenza, H5N1, has been confirmed in one of the 30 domesticated ducks (geese) that died at the Sukhna lake, Chandigarh.
While measures to isolate the 100-plus geese population at the lake were underway this afternoon, tourists using boats were moving around the geese and youngsters were even seen climbing the island where the geese have been contained.
This confirmation of the avian flu was revealead in the letter marked as "very urgent" and dispatched by Rajbir Singh Rana, Joint Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, ministry of agriculture, government of India, to the Central Poultry Development Organization (CDPO), Northern Region, Chandigarh, on December 16. The letter titled, 'Confirmation of H5N1 in ducks (geese) at Sukhna lake in Chandigarh', states that "with reference to the mortality in some ducks (geese), one sample has been found positive for H5N1."
The test on five of the dead ducks (geese) from the Sukhna lake were carried out first at the Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Jalandhar, which had then further sent the samples to India's leading research station, the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, to conduct advanced tests using the latest hi-tech equipment. The avian flu was confirmed in one of the duck (geese) samples by the NIHSAD.