Punjab has reported its first case of avian influenza with samples taken from a dead bar-headed goose testing positive for the flu's H5N1 strain, forest and wildlife preservation department officials said on Wednesday. The goose was found dead near the Siswan Dam reservoir in Mohali and its samples were sent to the Northern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (NRDDL) in Jalandhar for testing on January 8, they said.
The samples were then sent to the Bhopal-based Institute of High Security Animal Diseases testing after the NRDDL found it to be a suspected case of bird flu, the officials said. "Yesterday, we received a report which found it (samples) to be positive for H5N1," said an official of the department.
The officials said that a team of the animal husbandry department had also visited the reservoir area. Everyday 50 samples of bird dropping are being sent for testing, they said. Report of samples of taken from two poultry farms at Dera Bassi in Mohali are still awaited. These samples were sent to Bhopal for confirmation on January 15 after NRDDL tests found them positive for bird flu. Punjab sounded an alert earlier this month after bird flu cases were reported from several states and union territories in north India, including Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. ANB ANB 01201331 NNNN.