Kerala sounds alert after bird flu detected in Kozhikkode district

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Kerala will shortly begin culling chicken and domestic animals in two villages in Kozhikkode district following the detection of bird flu, a senior official of the state animal husbandry department said Saturday.

The bird flu scare comes barely a month after Kerala reported India’s first three cases of coronavirus and successfully overcame that challenge with all three recovering even as the rest of the country has reported over 30 positive cases of infections.

State Forest and Animal Husbandry Minister K Raju chaired a meeting at the state capital on Saturday to review and co-ordinate steps against bird flu.

Doubts began to rise two days ago when chickens started dying in two farms in Kodiyathur and Vengaeri villages prompting authorities to send samples to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal which confirmed the presence of Avian Flu, the official said.

A high-level team from state capital has left for the affected areas. “There is nothing to panic. We are monitoring the situation. Inspections will be carried out in all animal farms,” said minister K Raju.

This is the first case of bird flu in the state after the outbreak in 2016 in Alappuzha. Thousands of ducks were then culled to control the outbreak and farmers were compensated properly.

Avian flu is a variety of influenza caused by virus in birds. It can spread to humans and can trigger person to person transmission, experts say. There are many varieties of viruses and H7N9 is considered dangerous among them, they say.

 

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