Avian Flu Alert: 25,000 Birds to be Culled in Indian State of Kerala
On Wednesday, the federal Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying said that the government is aware of the recent avian flu outbreak in the country, and 9,750 birds have died since 21 November in the state of Kerala.
The southern Indian state of Kerala has recorded fresh cases of avian flu in Kottayam District days after bird flu was found in samples
taken from neighbouring Alappuzha District.
On Tuesday evening, the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases confirmed that samples collected from Kottayam’s Vechur, Aymanam, and Kallara villages contained the virus.
Shortly after the update from the national laboratory, the district authority on Wednesday said it would try to contain the spread of the virus by culling around 25,000 birds.
The authorities have said that INR200 ($2.62) will be given to compensate for every duck killed.
Transporting or rearing of poultry, including ducks, chicken, quail and other domestic birds, has been banned in the one-kilometre square area
where the virus has been found.
Bird flu, also known as Avian Flu, is a variety of influenza caused by an airborne virus in birds.
The state's animal husbandry department said it is keeping an eye on the situation. The officials, meanwhile, have asked locals not to worry, as their teams are working to contain the spread.
“According to estimates, 14,298 ducks, including 6,550 ducklings, were killed across the [Kottayam] district this season. Of this, Kallara village reported the highest number of deaths (6,550), followed by Vechur with 4,037 deaths,” The Hindu reported.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), avian influenzas do not easily infect humans, and it’s unusual for them to spread from person to person.
The WHO notes: “Meat products and eggs can be safely consumed, provided
they are properly prepared because influenza viruses are inactivated by thorough cooking.”