Via The Times of India: Unknown disease hits poultry in ‘bird flu’ zone? Excerpt:
HYDERABAD: A new mystery disease could be killing thousands of chickens in poultry farms on the city outskirts, top experts said on Tuesday after several dead bird samples turned negative for bird flu.
Authorities said that there is every indication that a new disease had hit the poultry farms at Injapur village in Hayathnagar mandal as hapless farmers said that over 80% of the stocks had perished in one of the three poultry sheds there.
On Tuesday, another 1,050 birds succumbed to the mystery disease at a poultry farm, taking the total bird mortality to over 11,000 since it was first reported by a local farmer named B Krishna Reddy on May 4. What deepened the mystery in the entire saga was the Bhopal-based High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) confirming that it's not a case of bird flu.
"Yes, this is not bird flu (H5N1) as all the 10 samples sent to us by Telangana animal husbandry department turned negative. The high bird mortality rate at this farm is surprising but at this point, we do not know the exact cause of the unusual deaths," said Dr DD Kulkarni, in-charge joint director of HSADL.
What's more intriguing about these unusual deaths is that a month after the first outbreak of bird flu in Hyderabad, all three suspected causes—infectious coryza, chronic respiratory disease (CRD) and sunstroke—have already been ruled out.
"We are helpless as all the medications advised by local veterinary experts have failed to check these unusual deaths. I have not seen such high mortality in my 40 years in the poultry industry," said B Krishna Reddy.
Besides spraying virucidal disinfectants B904, Reddy said that use of strong antibiotics like enrocin and ciprocin (used for treating respiratory diseases like coryza and CRD) failed to yield any results. "There is no possibility of the birds having been hit by other diseases that I know of or getting affected by excessive heat as the temperature is somewhat cooler now," he explained.