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Bird flu outbreak in two Kerala districts

Kottayam (Ker), Jan 4:  An outbreak of bird flu

has been reported from some parts of Kottayam and Alappuzha districts, prompting authorities to order culling of ducks, hens and other domestic birds in and around one km radius of the affected areas.

Kottayam district authorities said bird flu has been reported from a duck farm in Neendoor.

Around 1,500 ducks have died in the farm.

Similarly, bird flu outbreak has been reported from some farms in Kuttanad region of Alappuzha district, sources said.

Tests conducted at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal have confirmed the bird flu outbreak, officials said.

State Animal Husbandry Minister K Raju said in Thiruvananthapuram that the government will compensate farmers whose domestic birds will be culled.

Officials said some 40,000 birds will have to be culled to check the spread of the H5N8 virus.

Although the situation has been brought under control, authorities have sounded high alert in the districts, considering the potential of the virus to infect humans, sources said.

Bird flu occurs naturally in wild waterfowl and can spread to domestic poultry, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese.The disease is transmitted via contact with an infected bird’s feces, or secretions from its nose, mouth or eye.

The last major case of bird flu was reported in the state in 2016.


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