Sukhna Lake is a man-made recreational area and wild bird preserve located at the foothills of the Himalayas, and since its construction more than 50 years ago has become a favorite overwintering ground for a variety of migratory waterfowl.
In recent days local authorities have reported an unusual die off of birds, and today it has been announced that the India’s NIHSAD Lab in Bhopal had detected the H5N1 virus in a dead duck.
Sukhna Lake is nearly 3,000 km north of the H5N1 outbreak reported in Kerala last month (see India Orders Massive Cull Over HPAI H5 Outbreak In Ducks). Local authorities now plan to cull a small number of ducks at the lake, and are monitoring local poultry farms for any signs of infection.
IndiaToday.in New Delhi, December 18, 2014 | UPDATED 13:50 IST
Chandigarh's Sukhna Lake was cordoned off early on Thursday after a sample from a dead duck tested positive for the H5N1 (avian or bird flu) virus.
Police and paramilitary personnel with masks on their faces were stationed at the lake complex since early Thursday to cordon off the entire area, IANS reported.
Scores of morning walkers who throng to the lake every day and other visitors were kept away from the lake complex.
Police officials at the lake told IANS that the complex would remain out of bounds for all visitors for at least two to three days.