Bird flu has been confirmed in Kerala again. According to Minister for Forest and Wildlife, K Raju, a large number of ducks were found dead in Kottayam and Alappuzha districts. The ducks were found dead in large numbers of December 19 in certain regions of Alappuzha. The incident was ignored by farmers because of the Christmas and New Year festivities. So far, over 12,000 ducks have died.
Five of the eight samples sent for tests in Bhopal were confirmed of the virus. The disease was confirmed in Nedumudy, Thakazhi, Pallippadu and Karuvatta regions of Alappazha and in Neendoor in Kottayam. Control rooms have been opened and a quick response team has been deployed in these two Kerala districts. All birds within one kilometer radius of the disease infected region will be culled and precautions taken to prevent it from spreading to other parts. According to Raju, at least 50,000 ducks will be culled to check the spread of the virus and the government will compensate farmers. Apart from ducks, no other bird has been reported with bird flu as of now. The authorities also launched a drive to identify those with suspected flu symptoms in the area.
In 2016, bird flu was reported in Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts and at least 2 lakh chicken and ducks were culled to control the outbreak. Bird flu was confirmed in Kozhikode and Malappuram last year but the spread of the disease was prevented by killing the birds in the area. Recently, avian flu was confirmed in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Bird flu, also known as avian flu, is a variety of influenza caused by a virus in birds. It can spread to humans and can prove fatal.