the National Institute for High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal informed that samples of wild birds died in National Zoological Park (NZP), New Delhi received by them have tested positive for H5 Avian influenza virus. These samples were earlier tested positive for Influenza A virus at Northern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (NRDDL), Jalandhar. Immediately, the advisory was issued to the Director, Animal Husbandry, Delhi Administration and the Director, NZP and were requested to send the report to the Department.
2. The NZP on 18-10-2016 informed that the mortality was among the wild birds and not the captive birds. The mortality started on 14-10-2016. Between 14 to 17th October, there was mortality of nine birds: 5 Rosy pelican, 3 ducks and one Painted Stork.
3. This Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries has requested NIHSAD, Bhopal and the NRDDL to investigate the outbreak thoroughly to determine the source of infection, so that the zoo authorities across the country can implement suitable strategy to prevent the ingress of the disease to captive birds. The same is under progress.
4. The Director, AH, Delhi visited zoo on 18-10-2016 and deputed his team for carrying out action/ surveillance at the zoo.
5. On 19.10.2016, Joint Commissioner (LH) and Assistant Commissioner from the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries visited the NZP and had a discussion with Director, NZP and also participated in the meeting along with the officials of NCDC, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Delhi Department of Health etc. The Department has issued the necessary guidelines to the state government and the zoo authorities on control and containment of the infection. The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has also been requested to issue advisories to all the wildlife/ bird sanctuaries in the country to be on alert and take necessary actions for prevention of the disease.
6. On 19-10-2016, NIHSAD has confirmed that the virus subtype H5N8 infection in wild birds which is a new subtype being reported for the first time in the country. H5N8 has been reported from 11 countries during 2015 and four countries (including India) during 2016.
7. On 21-10-2016, NIHSAD informed that the samples were also received from Gandhi Zoological Park, Gwalior which have tested positive for H5N8 AIV. The instructions have been issued to the state Animal Husbandry Director. The Ministry Of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has also been requested to issue advisories to all wildlife/ bird sanctuaries in the country.
8. As per OIE, the avian Influenza disease in wild/ migratory birds does not affect the status of the country; hence there are no trade implications.
9. Till now, no human infections with H5N8 has been established anywhere in the world. However, necessary precautions are to be undertaken while handling sick/ dead birds and contaminated material during control and containment operations.