UPDATE: India Orders Massive Cull Over HPAI H5 Outbreak In Ducks

A red alert has been sounded after laboratory analysis confirmed the cause of death of some 17,000 ducks in Central Kerala was due to avian influenza, or bird flu.

Public domain photo/Robin klein
Public domain photo/Robin klein

According to animal husbandry department, the avian influenza was confirmed following lab tests at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal. However, the department is yet to get reports about the sub-type of the virus to ascertain whether it would affect humans.

Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy said, “No need for panic. I have called an emergency meet on Tuesday to coordinate various departments.”

A team of veterinarians had already been deputed to the affected areas to take necessary measures to contain the spread of the disease, Director-in-Charge of the department, Dr V Brhamanandan said. Surveillance had been stepped up around 10 km of the areas from where the mass death of ducks had been reported recently.

Also, the transportation of egg and duck meat from these places had been stopped, he said.

Kerala Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan said veterinary kits would be distributed in affected areas and farmers would be enlightened about the threat.