Avian flu outbreak in Kottayam poultry farm: How to guard your health?

If someone at home is sick and if they have symptoms of flu, keep a distance from them to avoid spreading the virus. Photo:Shutterstock/Pordee_Aomboon

Kottayam: Avian flu (H5N1) cases have been reported from across the country in the past few days and the latest was in a state-run poultry farm here. An outbreak at the government-run regional poultry farm at Manarcad was confirmed by the district administration. Following the outbreak, a decision was taken to euthanize and cremate all domesticated and pet birds within a one-kilometre radius of the poultry farm, the district administration said in a statement on Thursday. Disinfection steps will be taken in the affected area and a radius of 1 to 10 km from the poultry farm was declared as a surveillance zone, it said. Besides that, a ban was imposed on the sale and import of poultry products chicken, duck, quails and other birds in the Kottayam district of the state.

The measures were taken following an inter-departmental meeting held at the Collectorate after district Collector V Vigneshwari confirmed the avian flu outbreak at the poultry farm run by the Animal Husbandry department. Around nine thousand chickens were reared at the farm, it said. The H5N1 outbreak was confirmed by the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases lab in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, after testing samples of the chickens which died in large numbers at the farm.
How to safeguard your health?
1) Avoid being around birds, especially those that appear sick or are dead. Also, do not touch surfaces that might be possibly contaminated by their droppings.
2) As far as possible, avoid poultry for a while. If you can't, make sure they are cooked to an internal temperature of at least165°F to kill the virus.
3) If someone at home is sick and if they have symptoms of flu, keep a distance from them to avoid spreading the virus. Also, wash your hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds. This should be done especially after coughing or sneezing. 
4) Follow the guidelines given by the administration and stay informed on updates of the disease. 
(With PTI inputs)

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.