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Bird flu in Kerala: State on high alert for spread of H5N1 avian influenza

Written by Shraddha Rupavate |Updated : November 30, 2014 12:29 PM IST

Bird flu in Kerala is spreading quickly. As a part of measure to contain the outbreak, the state government announced various measures to stop its spread in the state, including halting transportation of chicken and destroying eggs meant for hatching and culling of ducks and chicken in three districts main affected that are worst hit bird flu. (Read: Bird flu in Kerala: 3 lakh birds to be culled within the next 3 days)

Thursday, the strain of virus responsible for causing the deaths was identified. According to the officials, H5N1 strain of avian influenza has caused the outbreak in the three districts of Kerala: Alappuzha, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta.

The state has also alerted that the strain of the virus could be severely contagious and can cause fatal complications in humans. Kerala is now put on high alert, although there has been no case of avian influenza in humans yet. Read more about how bird flu spreads in humans--causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

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State Health Minister V S Sivakumar has issued a warning to take extra precautions against spread of the deadly virus. Here are some preventative measure highlighted by the ministry:

  • Awareness programmes have been initiated in the three districts of Alappuzha, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta in Kerala.
  • Adequate stock of medicines has been made available for individuals who are closely associated with poultry farming. About 30,000 pills would also be reaching the state on Friday. To avoid a situation of lack of stock of medicines, the ministry has ordered for 50,000 more tablets.
  • All hospitals around the three districts as well as in the state have been equipped for handling an emergency. All private hospitals have received instructions to participate in the government s surveillance mechanism.
  • The government has deployed health teams to monitor health of people handling poultry. As of now, 41,201 people have been examined by 62 health teams that visited 11,729 houses in Alappuzha.
  • Another team of 20 officials examined 6,750 people in Kottayam and 2,234 in Pathanamthitta.

Read: Bid flu prevention tips

Image source: Getty images

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