Bird flu detected in Alappuzha

The viral infection has been found at Thakazhy, Kainadi, Ramankary, Neelamperoor and Pandi.

October 26, 2016 01:18 am | Updated December 02, 2016 11:37 am IST - ALAPPUZHA:

Bird flu (avian influenza), caused by H5N8 virus, has been detected among ducks at five places in Alappuzha district.

The viral infection has been found at Thakazhy, Kainadi, Ramankary, Neelamperoor and Pandi, District Collector Veena N.Madhavan told mediapersons here on Tuesday.

Twenty special teams have been deployed in the affected areas to tackle the flu. Infected ducks would be isolated and culled at locations to be identified by the official teams. Each team will have two veterinary surgeons and two livestock inspectors. In addition, there will be two labourers, attenders, revenue officials, and policemen each, apart from representatives of the respective panchayats.

The Collector said the presence of the virus was confirmed at an examination conducted at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal. Ducks with symptoms of bird flu were initially found in certain places on October 19.

The H5N8 virus is not as disastrous as H5N1, the variety found during the bird flu outbreak here in 2014, said Animal Husbandry Department Director N.N.Sasi.

The virus might have been carried by migratory birds, he said.

The Collector said there would be restrictions on movement of ducks in the district for the next 10 days. There will be random checks at meat sales outlets.

There is no harm in consumption of eggs or meat of unaffected birds. The virus is not transmitted from bird to human beings. In case people in close contact with the affected birds develop symptoms of fever, they should consult the doctor.

If symptoms of the virus attack are found among poultry birds, the matter should be reported to Animal Husbandry Department officials. One of the initial symptoms among the affected birds is the appearance of bluish colour in the eyes.

A helpdesk has been opened at the Animal Husbandary Department office in Alappuzha in the wake of the incidence of avian influenza. The phone number is 0477 2252636.

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