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Bird flu detected in Kerala


Kochi, Oct 25: Amid the Avian influenza outbreak in Delhi and Madhya Pradesh, the virus has been found in ducks in coastal Alappuzha district in Kerala, prompting the district administration to take various measures, including forming Quick Response Teams.

The outbreak of the virus in ducks in the state has been confirmed after tests of samples at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases at Bhopal, an official statement said today.


The cases of avian influenza have been reported from Thakazhi, Ramankari, Pandi, Pallippad and Kainadi, it said, adding there was however no cause for panic. Some farmers claimed they had lost a number of ducks.

"Twenty quick response teams have been constituted to isolate the ducks affected by H5N8 virus and cull them," District Collector Veena N Madhavan said. The State Animal Husbandry department advised people suffering from fever or cold not to handle the birds.

It is suspected that the migratory birds which came from Siberia via Pakistan and Delhi, might have brought the virus to coastal Kerala, the statement said.

Meanwhile, Alappuzha MP K C Venugopal urged the Union Government to take steps to assist the state in dealing with the crisis.

Venugopal, also a former Union Minister, told PTI that he has written to Union Agriculture Minister, seeking his urgent intervention and deputing an expert team to the affected area.

He also sought adequate compensation to the farmers whose ducks have been affected. He recalled the deaths of thousands of ducks in Kuttanad area of Alappuzha and Kottayam districts in 2014 due to bird flu.

Acting on reports of mortality among the birds in Delhi NCR region and other parts of the country due to H5 Avian Influenza Virus, Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave had constituted a monitoring committee to oversee the outbreak.


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