As the testing laboratories in Bhopal work their way through the backlog of thousands of samples, we are are likely to learn of other regions of India where avian H5N8 has already arrived.
Today it is Punjab state, in the North of India and adjacent to neighboring Pakistan, where samples collected last week have now been confirmed as positive for the H5N8 virus.
This overnight from the Indian Express.
Bird flu enters Punjab for the first time
After the deaths were reported to the state’s animal husbandry department, it first sent the samples to the Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RDDL) in Jalandhar for testing.
Written by Adil Akhzer | Chandigarh | Published:October 28, 2016 9:04 am
In the first case of bird flu in Punjab, samples from two ducks found dead in an industrial unit’s reservoir at Rajpura in Patiala district last week have tested positive for H5N8 avian influenza (commonly known as bird flu). The samples were sent to National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal, which confirmed that the deaths were due to bird flu.
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The Central Asian-Indian Flyway that funnels birds from their Siberian and Arctic summer breeding grounds south and west to India, also serves as a conduit to Central Asia, and parts of the Middle East (see green shaded area in map below).
While these flyways are predominately north-south corridors, their overlapping (particularly over their northern breeding grounds) allows for a lateral (east-west) movement of avian viruses as well.
All of which means that we shouldn't be too surprised if we start seeing H5N8 reports from countries and regions both east, and west of the Indian Subcontinent over the next couple of months.