Kerala

It’s official: Kerala faces H5N1 threat

Veterinary doctors culling ducks and removing the carcasses to Kopparakadavu at Ambalappuzha panchayat in Alappuzha district on Thursday.  

The government has initiated steps to intensify the culling operations in the three districts affected by the outbreak of Avian Influenza, even as the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal, has confirmed that bird samples collected from Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Pathanamthitta have tested positive for the H5N1 virus.

As many as 11 of the 24 samples sent from the three districts tested positive, according to the report sent by the institute to the State government on Thursday. The Animal Husbandry Department is gearing up its manpower and infrastructure resources to step up the culling of birds which began on Wednesday.

Director of Animal Husbandry V. Brahmanandan said between 50,000 and 60,000 birds would be culled on Friday. He said efforts were on to procure more protective kits for the culling teams on a war footing. As many as 7,000 birds were culled in Alappuzha district on Thursday.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has convened a meeting on Friday to review the progress of the action taken to manage the outbreak of bird flu and discuss steps to prevent transmission of the virus to humans.

Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar said all possible steps had been taken to prevent the spread of the virus. “There has been no case of human infection by the H5N1 virus in Kerala so far,” he said. Adequate stocks of preventive medicines were available for the culling teams and persons handling birds, he said.

“Health squads are visiting houses in Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Pathanamthitta to keep a close watch on the health status,” Mr. Sivakumar said.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 9:17:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/its-official-kerala-faces-h5n1-threat/article6640701.ece

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