Kerala

Fresh bout of bird flu at Kuttanad

A fresh bout of avian influenza flu (H5N8) has been detected at Kuttanad in Alappuzha.

According to officials, around 500 birds, mostly chicken, died at Kainakary recently. Samples of the dead birds sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, for analysis were found to have been infected with the H5N8 subtype of the Influenza A virus.

A meeting chaired by District Collector A. Alexander reviewed the situation on Wednesday. District Animal Husbandry Officer P.K. Santhosh Kumar said a 10-member rapid response team had begun culling birds and burning carcasses within one km radius of the epicentre as per the Central government guidelines.

“Around 1,600 chickens and 700 ducks will be culled. The culling and sanitisation process is likely to be completed by Thursday,” Mr. Kumar said.

Officials said the result of samples collected from Muttar, where bird deaths had been reported, was awaited. “Samples taken from the dead birds at Kainakary and Muttar were sent together. While samples from Kainakary tested positive for the virus, a communication from NIHSAD mentioned that the analysis of the samples from Muttar is under process,” said an official with the Animal Husbandry Department.

Recently bird flu was detected from five places at Kuttanad, Nedumudi, Thakazhi, Pallippad and Karuvatta in Alappuzha district and Neendoor in Kottayam district. Authorities had collected samples from eight places following the mass death of ducks in December and sent it to the NIHSAD for testing.

Five samples tested positive for bird flu. Following this, rapid response teams culled and burned the carcasses of 57,687 birds, mostly ducks, within a one-km radius of the five hotspots in the two districts in the second week of January. The teams had destroyed 32,592 eggs and 5,078 kg of feed. Besides, 25,265 ducks died due to the outbreak.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 10:49:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/fresh-bout-of-bird-flu-at-kuttanad/article33618753.ece

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