Avian Influenza in Kottayam, Kerala

Recently, Avian Influenza was confirmed in the Kottayam and Alappuzha districts of Kerala. It was reported that the H5N8 Influenza A virus was detected in the ducks in the Neendoor in the Kottayam district and in the Thakazhy, Thalavadi, Karuvatta, and Pallipad in Alappuzha district.

Key Points

  • The samples of the ducks were sent to Bhopal’s National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) and the samples were tested positive for the bird flu virus.
  • As of now, no infection in human beings has been detected.
  • The H5N8 strain of avian influenza is said to have a lower chance of spreading to humans as compared to the H5N1 subtype.
  • The source of infection has not been determined yet but it is suspected that migratory birds may have passed the disease.
  • After the confirmation of Avian Influenza by the NIHSAD, the Animal Husbandry Department has started taking precautions like physical distancing, wearing masks, etc.
  • Now, to control influenza, culling of ducks will be done in the infected regions as per guidelines issued by the Central government.
  • Along with this, disinfection and disease surveillance will be carried out in a time-bound manner.
  • Before this, bird flu (H5N1 strain) was reported in Kerala in the years 2014 and 2020. An H5N8 Avian Influenza was also reported in the year 2016 in Alappuzha.

Avian Influenza

Avian Influenza, commonly known as bird flu is an infectious disease caused by viruses in birds. Influenza has three types of viruses-A, B, and C; out of this Influenza A is mostly adopted by birds. Avian Influenza has various subtypes like H151, H158, H5N1, etc.

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