Friday, June 26, 2009

Parasites, not Flu behind pigeon deaths

from Statesman

GANGTOK, 25 JUNE: The Sikkim state animal husbandry department set at rest all the speculations doing rounds regarding bird flu outbreak in the wake of large scale pigeon deaths at Singtam in East Sikkim, saying that the pathological probe has ascribed deaths to some blood sucking parasites.
According to Dr KC Bhutia, joint director, Disease Investigation Cell, state animal husbandry department, the investigation into the first batch of samples sent to the Regional Disease Diagnostics Laboratory of Guwahati, has attributed bacterial infection to the pigeon deaths.
“The birds getting wet during the rains created conditions conducive for the parasites
to breed,” Dr Bhutia said.
As per the official records, 56 cases of unnatural pigeon deaths over the past two months have been reported from a particular region of the state.
Springing into action with flu panic spreading among people, the state animal husbandry department has pressed into service a full-fledged mobile unit to keep vigilance over the developing situation in Singtam. This apart, de-contamination campaign at the pigeonholes at residences has also been launched.
“These measures have yielded positive results and no fresh case of pigeon death has been reported from anywhere in the state over the past two weeks,” said Mr Bhutia