Kerala

Bird flu outbreak in Kottayam, Alappuzha

The government has issued a Statewide alert following the confirmation of an outbreak of avian flu (bird flu) in two districts.

Minister for Animal Husbandry K.P. Mohanan said here on Monday that the H5 Avian Influenza virus had been confirmed in samples sent to the High Security Animal Disease (HSAD) Laboratory, Bhopal. The strain spreads between birds and can potentially affect humans.

A communication issued by H.R. Khanna, Assistant Commissioner, Union Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF), directed the State to carry out control and containment operations in the wake of the outbreak. The State has been asked to constitute teams for the purpose. A red alert has been issued in Kottayam and Alappuzha districts where the disease outbreak was noticed in ducks. Four panchayats, Aimanam, Purakkad, Kumarakom, and Thalavadi have been affected.

The Minister said affected birds would be culled from Tuesday to prevent the spread of the disease. Farmers would be compensated after assessing the extent of loss. He said directions had been issued to restrict the transportation of ducks and eggs from Alappuzha to other districts. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has convened a high-level meeting on Tuesday to discuss the steps to be taken to control the outbreak of bird flu.

Meanwhile, officials in the Animal Husbandry Department are accused of sleeping on repeated alerts from farmers in Alappuzha district highlighting the possibility of a major outbreak over the last one week. A highly placed source in the government said the department had failed to anticipate the crisis and take precautionary measures. In another related incident, 22 ducks brought from Alappuzha by a farmer at Mylakkara, near Kallikad, in Thiruvananthapuram were reported to have died on Saturday.



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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 8:27:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/bird-flu-outbreak-in-kottayam-alappuzha/article6630463.ece

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