Bird flu declared as ‘state-specific disaster’ in Kerala, high alert sounded


Thiruvananthapuram: Bird flu has been declared as a state-specific disaster in Kerala and a high alert has been issued after an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed in certain parts of Kottayam and Alappuzha districts, the Kerala Government said.



State Animal Husbandry Minister K Raju said at least 50,000 ducks will be culled to check the spread of the virus and the government will compensate farmers. According to reports, the state government issued a high alert in the state considering the potential of the virus to infect humans.

The state government had on Monday ordered the culling of ducks, hens and other domestic birds in and around a one km radius of the affected areas after tests conducted at the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal confirmed the bird flu outbreak.

The minister has also called a meeting to coordinate steps to contain the outbreak. Himachal Pradesh today became the fourth state to report cases of bird flu after Rajasthan, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, with officials confirming that migratory birds found dead at Pong Dam Lake in Kangra district have tested positive for the dreaded avian influenza. 

In Himachal Pradesh, around 1,800 migratory birds, most of them bar-headed geese, have been found dead in the Pong Dam Lake sanctuary. In Rajasthan, deaths of more than 170 new birds were reported from some districts on Monday, taking the total fatalities in recent days to over 425. Bird flu is a highly infectious and severe respiratory disease in birds caused by the H5N1 influenza virus, which can occasionally infect humans as well.

Meanwhile, an alert has been sounded after six UK returnees to the state after December 14 tested positive for the new coronavirus strain, including two each in Kozhikode and Alappuzha and one each in Kottayam and Kannur, officials said on Tuesday.


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