Samples of three dead crows found in two villages in Navsari in Gujarat have tested positive for bird flu, making it the fifth district in the state to report cases, officials said on Sunday. Crow carcasses collected from Syada village in Chikhli taluka and Manpur village in Vansda taluka of the district on January 11 tested positive for H5N8 avian influenza virus in RT-PCR tests conducted in a Bhopal laboratory, the official said.
The district collector on Saturday evening issued a notification imposing restrictions over a one kilometre area around the spots where the carcasses were found, officials said. Gujarat first reported bird flu from Junagadh district on January 8, and on January 11, cases were confirmed in crow samples in Surat, Vadodara and Valsad.
The state's animal husbandry department said the virus detected in the state so far is of a low pathogenic strain limited to wild birds. Under bird flu guidelines, a radius of 0-10 kilometres around an affected spot is declared an 'alert zone' and intensive surveillance is carried out.
In an earlier release, officials said avian influenza is a low pathogenic virus, meaning it is less lethal than other bird flu viruses, adding that not a single case of the virus had been detected in humans so far.