Bird Flu has been confirmed in the national capital as a dead owl in the Delhi zoo has been recognized as infectious.
The zoo noticed the death of a brown fish owl in its captivity. Its tracheal and ocular swabs were sent to the animal husbandry unit of the Delhi government for serological examination, zoo Director Ramesh Pandey said.
The samples were found positive for H5N8 avian influenza virus under real-time RT-PCR test done by ICAR-National Institute of High-Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD), Bhopal, on Friday, he said.
As per codes and guidelines issued by the Centre and the Delhi government, sanitization and surveillance drills have been expanded in the zoo and all possible preventive measures are being taken.
Birds in captivity have been separated and are under constant supervision and care for their behavior and health. The spray of lime, virion-S, and sodium hypochlorite and foot bath of potassium permanganate is being done at regular intervals every day, he said.
Chicken feed to raptors and entry of vehicles inside the zoo has already been stopped. The movement of staff is also being restricted and regulated in the opinion of the bird flu outbreak.
Delhi zoo has both captive and free-ranging birds, including local migratory waterfowls and waders, on its premises.
On Monday, samples taken from crows and ducks at parks and lakes in the national capital had tested positive for avian influenza.