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H5N1 Spread in Assam India
Recombinomics Commentary 15:35
December 1, 2008

27,000 chicken were culled at Rangiya Circle in Kamrup (Rural) district to prevent spread of the disease to other districts.

3,000 chicks were culled at Gerua and Abhaypur

The above comments suggest that H5N1 has spread in the Kamrup district in Assam, India.  Last week confirmed H5N1 positives were at Hajo circle and 20 villages were scheduled for culling.  However, there were also unusual poultry deaths in Sapara Village near Paliburi (see satellite map), and the number of villages slated for culling has increased to 50, which is well beyond the initial 3 or 5 km radius of the confirmed cases in Thakuria Chuba of Rajabazar.

The spread of H5N1 in the area is not unexpected.  India has recently acknowledged the role of migratory birds in the spread of H5N1, based in part by the sequence relationship between the outbreaks in India and those of migratory birds in Russia and Mongolia (Clade 2.2 Qinghai starin).  Moreover, the last major outbreak in India (West Bengal) and adjacent Bangladesh began almost exactly ne year ago, when migratory birds began arriving in the region, where they winter. 

Bangladesh has also recently reported confirmed H5N1.

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