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Centre deploys high-level team to Kerala to investigate Avian Influenza outbreak

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Alappuzha (Ker), Oct 27: Health Ministry on Thursday has deployed a high-level 7-member team to Kerala to investigate the Avian Influenza outbreak in Kerala. The team will investigate the outbreak in detail and submit a report with recommendations.

The 7 member Central team to Kerala comprises of experts drawn from the National Institute of Tuberculosis & Respiratory Diseases, New Delhi, National Centre for Disease Control, New Delhi, National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.

Centre deploys high-level team to Kerala to investigate Avian Influenza outbreak

The team is headed by Dr. Rajesh Kedamani, Sr RD, Regional Office of Health and Family Welfare, Bangalore.

The team will also assist the State Health Departments in terms of public health measures, management guidelines and protocols to manage the increasing cases of Avian Influenza being reported by the State.

With the outbreak of avian flu being confirmed among ducks in the district, authorities on Thursday began operations to cull over 20,000 birds in Vazhuthanam ward in Haripad Municipality here to check spread of the disease as reported by news agency PTI.

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The presence of the infection was confirmed following a recent lab test of samples in the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal. From October 28 (Saturday), all birds in the houses located within a km radius of the epicentre of the disease, would be culled, district authorities said here in a statement.

As many as 20,471 ducks would be killed and eight Rapid Response Teams (RRTs), with 10 members each, are engaged in culling operations as per the directives of veterinarians and adhering to the central norms in this regard, it said.

As the culling procedures progressed under District Animal Protection Officer D S Bindhu, people's representatives and officials of various departments including revenue and health visited the area. Even after the completion of the culling procedures, the surveillance of the Health and Animal Welfare Departments would continue in Haripad Municipality, Pallipad Panchayat and nearby areas for a week, it added.

A ban has already been imposed on transportation of birds within one kilometer radius of the disease outbreak.

In the wake of the avian flu, the district collector has banned the consumption and sale of the egg and meat of domestic birds including duck, hen, quail and so on in Haripad Municipality and various nearby panchayats. Four member "bird squads" have been formed to ensure that the egg and meat of domestic birds are not sold or consumed in these regions.

Authorities asked people to be vigilant in the wake of the outbreak of disease as there are chances of the spread of the infection among humans from birds.
Besides ducks, the infection can also affect hen, quail, goose and other ornamental birds and those who come in close contact with them should be extra cautious and take necessary precautionary measures as prescribed by the Health Department, they added.

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