In a first, bird flu confirmed in crows at Muhamma in Alappuzha

Representational image
Representational image: Manorama

Alappuzha: For the first time in the state, bird flu has been confirmed in crows in Muhamma, Alappuzha.
“We noticed crows dying en masse a few days back. We alerted the veterinary authorities who sent a sample to Bhopal for testing. It has returned positive,” said Swapna Shabu, president of Muhamma Grama Panchayat.

The crows were found dead in Kayippuram, located in the fourth ward of Muhamma grama panchayat. Contradicting the usual trend of bird flu being limited among ducks in the southern parts of the Alappuzha district, this year the flu has spread to chickens and crows and also to the northern parts of the district as well.

To date, over 1 lakh birds have been culled in the state to contain the spread of bird flu. Over 73,000 of them were culled in Alappuzha.
“The disease is spreading,” said DMO Jamuna Varghese, “However, it has not spread to human beings. The origin of the bird flu is not known as of now. We are not sure if it is from migratory birds or from birds that were transported here from other states.”

Meanwhile, Animal Husbandry Minister J. Chinchu Rani has said that a team of experts have been constituted to study the spread of bird flu in the state. Scientists from the Veterinary Institute and lab technicians from the State Institute for Animal Diseases and Avian Disease Diagnostic Lab form part of the team.

While assuring that the situation is under control, the Animal Husbandry Department has also asked the public and farmers to follow all safety protocols and instructions from authorities to effectively contain the spread of the disease.

Earlier this month, the WHO had confirmed the first human death caused by bird flu in Mexico. The 59-year-old person had died on April 24 after developing symptoms including fever, shortness of breath, diarrhoea, nausea and general discomfort.

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