Duck plague has claimed over 6,000 ducks in Thrissur district.

The deaths were because of virus attack, said N. Divakaran Nair, professor and head of the Pathology Department of the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Thrissur. The deaths were reported from Kole wetlands near Arimbur panchayat in the district.

There are preventive vaccines against the disease. The disease would not spread to human beings or other animals or birds, he said.

The stress factor

The stress that the birds feel in summer months could be the precipitating factor for the disease, which could spread through water. Since most water bodies had dried up, there was little chance of further spreading of the disease through water, Dr. Nair said. Deaths could occur in healthy ducks also if they are infected by the virus.The high atmospheric temperature might have made the birds susceptible to the disease, he said.

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