Thousands of Birds to be Culled Over Avian Flu Outbreak in India

Thousands of Birds to be Culled Over Avian Flu Outbreak in India

India began slaughtering tens of thousands of poultry on the farm after avian influenza was detected in ducks, crows and wild geese in at least a dozen locations in the country.

The Indian Minister of Fisheries, Livestock and Dairy launched an alert on Wednesday (6), urging states to take measures to prevent any further spread of the disease.

The state of Kerala, in the south of the country, ordered the slaughter of more than 38,000 farm animals on Thursday (7), after cases of dead birds infected by the disease were registered in two districts, according to Minister K Raju. “Nineteen emergency response teams were set up for this,” he said.

Some 17,000 birds have been slaughtered in Kerala so far, and eggs have been destroyed in some districts.

Northern Himachal Pradesh state reported the deaths of about 3,000 birds from the disease, mostly striped-headed geese that lived in a wildlife conservation sanctuary, according to Archana Sharma, an official in the forestry department of the state.

“The animals affected are migratory birds. All we can do is follow the strategy of cleaning the contamination area. We isolated the entire sanctuary area and sent 10 teams in person every day to look for dead birds and dispose of them properly, ”said Sharma.

The warning comes at a time when India is still fighting the new coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 10 million in the country, and is preparing to embark on one of the most ambitious mass vaccination programs ever undertaken.

Avian influenza, also called avian influenza or bird flu, is a disease that usually affects only birds. There are many different strains, but the most common and deadly form of the virus is called Influenza A (H5N1), or H5N1 virus.

In India, the disease spreads mainly due to the entry of migratory birds into the country during the winter season.

Most cases of avian influenza in humans are due to contact with infected animals or surfaces contaminated with the secretion of infected birds, such as saliva or feces.

Symptoms of bird flu include coughing, fever, sore throat and sometimes severe respiratory illnesses and pneumonia.

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