Tamil Nadu

Hyderabad bird flu is replica of Chhattisgarh outbreak

Was April’s avian influenza outbreak Hyderabad’s first encounter with the deadly virus? Analysis of the virus found in the city suggests that it could have around for at least two years, long before it hit headlines.

Earlier this month, the High Security Animal Diseases Lab in Bhopal, which detected H5N1 at a farm in Thorrur village of Rangareddy district last month, sequenced the genome of the virus it detected and found it to be a perfect match to the virus that caused an outbreak in Chhattisgarh nearly two years ago.

However, the virus did not prove a match to sub-types of the H5N1 strain which caused outbreaks in Kerala, Karnataka and Chandigarh last year.

“Our analysis of the Hyderabad virus showed a match with the virus that infected birds in Durg and Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh. But it was unlike the virus found in other parts of the country,” said Dr. K.K. Kulkarni, director of the lab, adding that the virus could have been in the city longer than earlier thought.

The Chhattisgarh connection has raised questions if the virus could have made its way to Hyderabad from the neighbouring State to rear its head last month or if it has been around for a while and infected birds in other States.

Bigger producer

Dr. Kulkarni did not rule out the second possibility, given that Telangana was the bigger producer and that poultry was routinely sold to Chhattisgarh.

Not a mutated form

He, however, added that the virus could not have arrived in the city from Kerala and Karnataka after infecting birds there last year, as its sequencing shows it was not a mutated form of the strain found in the two States.

But, Telangana Poultry Breeders Association maintained that the virus has indeed been hopping from State to State and reared its head recently.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 5:48:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hyderabad-bird-flu-is-replica-of-chhattisgarh-outbreak/article7249520.ece

Next Story