In a follow-up to a report Tuesday, the bird flu outbreak that killed some 17,000 ducks in Kerala State has been confirmed at H5N1 avian influenza. The strain was confirmed by the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL), Bhopal on Wednesday.

H5N1 avian influenza/CDC
H5N1 avian influenza/CDC

According to a Times of India report, the two-member central team that visited bird flu-affected areas of Kuttanad on Wednesday expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the district administration for controlling the outbreak. The team said the situation would come under complete control once the culling of birds was completed.

Government plans to cull 200,000 birds has yet to gain momentum with only 1,800 ducks put to death in Aymanam panchayat in Kottayam district and a few hundreds of them culled in Purakkadu and Swami Chira in Alappuzha district, the TOI reports.

There has been no report of human casualties or disease due to H5N1 in India.

Avian influenza (AI) is an infectious viral disease of birds (especially wild water fowl such as ducks and geese), often causing no apparent signs of illness. AI viruses can sometimes spread to domestic poultry and cause large-scale outbreaks of serious disease. Some of these AI viruses, like H5N1, have also been reported to cross the species barrier and cause disease or subclinical infections in humans and other mammals.

Nearly 400 human H5N1 avian influenza deaths have been recorded worldwide since 2003.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page