pigeon patrolThe fear of avian flu gripped the district after the animal husbandry department found three dead pigeons near Gushaini village of near the Banjar forest area on Wednesday.
The pigeons, reportedly spotted by some locals, caused panic a day after the first case of the avian flu in Himachal Pradesh was reported in Manali.
Kulla Animal husbandry department assistant director Vishal Sharma said samples of the bird had been sent to the Regional Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory (RDDL) at Jalandhar, Punjab, even while adding that the chances that their deaths were caused by the avian flu are slim. He said that while no other dead birds were reported in the region, residents breeding poultry have been asked to stay alert.
Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) director BS Rana, who also confirmed the news, said: “It is a normal phenomenon that birds die due to extreme cold and hail storm, which was recently experienced by the region.”
As a precaution, however, a stock of prophylactic drugs had been sent to Banjar health center, said Kullu chief medical officer Dr Baldev Thakur, adding that no symptoms of the avian influenza have so far been reported.
Residents have also been asked to wash their clothes and hands thoroughly to avoid contamination.
The department has, however, reportedly not conducted any de-contamination or quarantine procedures, which may be required if the birds test positive for the H1N5 virus.
Following the recent scare of avian flu after a goose tested positive for the disease in Chandigarh and the recovery of dead poultry in Shimla, the department had reportedly constituted surveillance teams to monitor threats of avian influenza outbreak in the region. The dead poultry in Shimla later tested negative for the ailment.


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