Bird Flu Reported In Ducks In Kerala

The Alappuzha district of Kerala was put on alert after an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed at Kunnumma South (ward 10) in Thakazhy grama panchayat.


Important Points:

  • The presence of H5N1 subtype of the Influenza A virus was reported in ducks.
  • Following the mass death of ducks, the Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) last week sent samples of dead birds to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD), Bhopal for analyses, which tested positive for avian influenza.


Response to the Situation?

  • AHD officials said that between 8,000 and 10,000 ducks belonging to five farmers within a 1-km radius of the infected area were culled by rapid response teams as part of the containment measures. The carcasses of the culled birds were disposed of as per the standard operating procedure.
  • The District Collector has issued an order banning movement and sale of duck, chicken quail, and other domestic birds, their egg, meat and waste (manure) in 12 local bodies (within 9 km radius of the hotspot) of Champakulam, Nedumudi, Muttar, Edathua, Veeyapuram, Karuvatta, Thrikkunnappuzha, Thakazhy, Purakkad, Ambalappuzha South, Ambalappuzha North, and Haripad municipality.


Outbreak of Bird Flu:

  • It is the second time in less than a year a bird was confirmed in the region. Earlier this year, avian flu caused by the H5N8 strain of the Influenza A virus was detected from six places in Kuttanad at Nedumudi, Thakazhy, Pallippad, Karuvatta, and Kainakary in Alappuzha district and Neendoor in Kottayam district.
  • More than 80,000 birds, mostly ducks, died or were culled in the two districts due to the outbreak. It was the third outbreak of avian influenza reported in the region in the last seven years. In 2014, thousands of ducks had perished or were culled following a highly infectious bird flu outbreak caused by H5N1 virus. In 2016, avian influenza caused by the H5N8 virus was detected among ducks in Kuttanad.