Bird flu outbreak: Central team reaches Kerala

Alappuzha: A three-member central team arrived in Alappuzha on Thursday to assess the situation arising out of outbreak of bird flu in Alappuzha and Kottayam districts, official sources said.

The team comprising Union Health Ministry's public health specialist Dr Ruchi Jain, Pune National Institute of Virology scientist Dr Shailesh Pawar and Delhi RML Hospital physician Dr Anith Jindal held discussions with district authorities at the collectorate, they said.

Later, the team left for Karuvatta, one of the hotspots of the flu outbreak.

According to the state government, over 69,000 birds, including ducks and chicken, were culled in the districts of Alappuzha and Kottayam till Wednesday to contain the H5N8 strain of bird flu.

The outbreak was initially reported in four panchayats of Nedumudi, Thakazhy, Pallippad and Karuvatta in Kuttanad region of the Alappuzha district and Neendoor in Kottayam district.

State Animal Husbandry Minister K. Raju has said there is no history of the H5N8 virus being transmitted to humans.

Authorities have banned sale of bird meat and eggs in the affected regions. Asianet Online