Bird flu outbreak: Kerala issues high alert, declares virus as state-specific disaster
The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government said on Tuesday that bird flu has been declared as a state-specific disaster adding that a high alert has been issued after the virus was found in some parts of Kottayam and Alappuzha districts.
“Bird flu is declared as a state-specific disaster in Kerala and a high alert has been issued after an outbreak was confirmed in certain parts of Kottayam and Alappuzha districts,” the state government said.
The virus was reported from four panchayats--Nedumudi, Thakazhy, Pallippad and Karuvatta--in Kuttanad region of Alappuzha district and from a duck farm in Neendoor panchayat in Kottayam district. Officials said on Monday that a total of 1,700 ducks died in the farm situated in Kottayam district adding that nearly 40,000 birds, including 34,000 in Kuttanad region would be culled to check the spread of the virus.
Alappuzha district collector banned the use and trade of meat, eggs and waste of domestic birds, including ducks and chicken in Kuttanad and Karthikappalli Taluks, as reported by news agency PTI.
Meanwhile, government authorities said that necessary measures had been taken to control the spread of the virus and there was no need for any concern. “Migratory birds visiting the 10 km radius of the affected areas would be monitored by the state forest department,” they added.
Apart from Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have reported the virus till now. In Himachal Pradesh, nearly 1,800 migratory birds, majority of them bar-headed geese, were discovered dead in the Pong Dam Lake sanctuary. Kangra district magistrate had earlier issued an order to completely prohibit the sale, purchase and export of any poultry products in Fatehpur, Dehra, Jawali and Indora areas of the district. In Rajasthan, 425 birds have died so far with officials adding that the virus has only been confirmed in the Jhalawar district and reports of other deaths were yet to come.
Bird flu is a highly infectious and severe respiratory disease in birds caused by the influenza virus. The disease can be transmitted to human beings via infected bird’s feces, or secretions from its nose, mouth or eye.
(With agency inputs)