In late December, migratory water birds started dying in and around the lake in large numbers, and on January 4, samples of some of the carcasses tested positive for the H5N1 influenza virus.

Five migratory water birds were found dead at the Pong Dam Lake wildlife sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh Wednesday, taking the total death toll of birds due to an outbreak of avian influenza at the lake to 4,982, state wildlife officials said.

The five mortalities included two Bar Headed Geese and three Eurasian Coots, and their carcasses were found in the Jawali and Dhameta beats of the wetland, Chief Wildlife Warden Archana Sharma said. She added that the daily mortalities have come down to single digit figures during the past eight days.

In late December, migratory water birds started dying in and around the lake in large numbers, and on January 4, samples of some of the carcasses tested positive for the H5N1 influenza virus.

Since then, all human and livestock activity within ten kilometres from the lake’s periphery is prohibited.

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