Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Kolkata Crow Mystery



Indian House Crow – Photo Credit Wikipedia

# 6107


Roughly two months ago crows by the hundreds (some say thousands) began falling from their perches and dying in Jharkhand, India. 


By mid-December the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bhopal, confirmed that it was the H5N1 virus that was behind these deaths. (see EpiSouth Bulletin eweb_195_15_12__11.pdf).


You can find additional AFD coverage of this event in Media Report: H5N1 Killing Crows In Jharkhand  and several from Crofsblog, including India: ‘New bird flu strain killed Jharkhand crows’.


Today the Times of India is reporting (h/t Emily on FluTrackers) that after ignoring dying crows in the capital city of Kolkata for weeks, West Bengal authorities are finally launching an investigation.


Govt gets cracking on crow deaths

TNN | Jan 29, 2012, 07.36AM IST


KOLKATA: After ignoring the mysterious crow deaths in the city for nearly two months, the state government flew into action mode on Saturday and sent scientists to Rabindra Sarovar to gather carcasses and blood samples.

TOI on Friday first reported on crows dropping dead all over the city.

(Continue . . . )



Somewhat remarkably, two weeks after the discovery of H5N1 in Jharkhand crows, India declared itself to be bird flu free, leading to some highly critical media coverage (see Dying crows deny India is bird flu free).


There are other possible causes of the crow deaths in Kolkata; insecticides, accidental poisoning, and Newcastle disease to name a few.


But with the recent positive test results in neighboring Jharkhand positive for H5N1, concerns are running high that the virus may be behind these deaths as well.

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