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H5N1 Killing Crows in Mumbai India?
June 9, 2005
>> POST MORTEM findings on the specimens:
Collapsed lungs, hemorrhagic lesions in trachea, sinuses filled with hemorrhagic matter.
Hemorrhagic lesions in muscles of thigh and sternum; bones poorly calcified
Congested liver, with streaks of hemorrhages; brain, intestines too hemorrhagic;
DIAGNOSIS: The lesions suggestive of immunocompetence, and it is suggested may be seen in viral diseases like infectious bursal disease and may be complicated with aflatoxins.
But more detail virological tests needed.
SOME PECULIAR OBSERVATIONS:
Drooping head symptom was noticed/reported 20 times, incl by one observer from South Mumbai.
On two occasions someone reported a crow dying in front of their eyes and one observer reported sudden death of his 'pet'crow, just dropping dead for no apparent reason. <<
The description above of dying crows in Mumbai, India sound much like H5N1 avian influenza. Hemorrhagic lesions thoughout respiratory system and brain, coupled with sudden death is common for H5N1 infections in birds.
China has reported two H5N1 bird flu outbreaks recently. The first OIE report of 519 H5N1 deaths centered on bar-headed geese found at the Qinghai lake Nature Reserve. 4 additional species were also found dead. At a news conference a few days later, the number of dead birds was increased to over 1000 and a followup report by Abundant News detailed over 8000 deaths, including 12 species.
Yesterday China reported another outbreak in Tacheng in Xinjiang Province. Tacheng is almost 1000 miles northwest of Qinghai Lake and about 1800 miles northeast of Mumbai. Bar-headed geese winter in the northern plains of India and fly north in May and June to China and southern Russia. However, the Central South Asia flyway includes all of India and banded bar-headed geese from Qinghai lake have been found in southern India.
The two outbreaks in China demonstrate the wide range of migratory birds, especially in May and June while they are migrating. Recently India reported H5N1 positive poultry workers serum collected in 2002. H5N1 has not been previously reported in India, but the H5N1 positive poultry workers had not traveled outside of India. Recently India has also had outbreaks of meningitis in northern regions. Meningitis is a complication of influenza.
H5N1 was isolated from crows in Osaka, Kyoto and Bangkok last season. Clearly the dead crows in Mumbai, India should be tested for the same H5N1 being detected in birds in Qinghai and Xinjiang Provinces in China.