Bird culling in Kerala in final phase

The bird culling operations to contain the outbreak of avian influenza in Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Pathanamthitta districts entered the last phase on Saturday, even as the government maintained that the H5N1 virus had not infected humans in the State.

The Health Department is awaiting the results of two more human samples sent for analysis. Two human samples earlier sent to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had shown negative results for the H5N1 virus. Director of Health Services P.K. Jameela said the samples were collected not as suspected cases, but as part of the surveillance mechanism in place. She said only the members of culling teams or bird handlers with fever symptoms were considered at high risk.

The Animal Husbandry Department expects to wind up the culling operations by Sunday or Monday. As many as 70,431 birds were killed till Saturday morning. The number crossed one lakh by evening. After a mop-up process to destroy dead birds, the area around the affected places would be sanitised and strict surveillance and monitoring established. The State branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has intensified the training programme for doctors. The IMA has also stepped up the campaign to create awareness of avian influenza. A State-level training programme for doctors will be held at Alappuzha on Sunday. The IMA has also started a Facebook page (https://m. facebook. com/profile. php?id=745474292195508) to share information with the public. An IMA release said the campaign would focus on the need to remain on guard against bird flu.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 4:18:32 PM |

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