Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy has called a high-level meet on Tuesday after a Bhopal-based laboratory confirmed that the recent mass deaths of ducks in Alapuzha were due to avian influenza or bird flu.
“No need for panic. I have called an emergency meet on Tuesday to coordinate various departments. We have also asked Union health ministry to rush enough medicines,” Chandy told HT.
Last week, 17,000 ducks perished in water-logged Kuttanad and surrounding areas. The state animal husbandry department has ordered culling of poultry in one-km radius of the affected area to contain the outbreak and started distributing veterinary kits.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, home to a large of number of winged guests, is situated near the affected area. It is not immediately known how the virus spread to rearing birds.
However, experts fear that migrating waterfowls may have contributed to it. An awareness programme was also launched and farmers and employees dealing with duck meat were asked to take precautions.
Indian Medical Association has rushed a team to Alapuzha as well. In Kuttanad, known as Kerala’s rice-bowl, duck farming season begins in September and peaks during Christmas.