After the Kerala government declared the outbreak of bird flu in Kottayam and Alappuzha as a state disaster, Karnataka has put four bordering districts on high alert.
Following an advisory from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, the state Animal Husbandry department issued the alert to Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Mysuru, Kodagu districts.
The Kodagu district administration put up checkposts in the border areas of Kutta, Makutta and Karike for screening poultry birds and other products arriving from Kerala and also sanitising the transport vehicles as a precautionary measure.
Kodagu Deputy Commissioner Annies Kanmani Joy directed officials to sanitise all poultry-carrying vehicles arriving from Kerala before their entry into the district.
On Tuesday, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar directed health officers in border districts of the state to remain vigilant in the view of avian flu outbreak in other states.
“The avian flu was first noticed in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Though no cases (of avian flu) have come to my notice yet, I have told the health officers in the border districts to be alert,” Sudhakar said.
Earlier, the Zoo Authority of Karnataka stated that preventive measures have been taken across zoos in the state. “All zoos operating under the authority have taken up preventive and containment measures as per guidelines issued by the Central Zoo Authority. The public can report any deaths of birds to nearest forest and veterinary hospital,” it stated.
Culling of nearly 50,000 birds is in progress in two districts of Kerala after the avian flu outbreak in the state.
The avian flu outbreak has been classified as a ‘state disaster’ in Kerala after the Centre notified the outbreak of H5N8 subset of Influenza A in the two districts.
Bird flu has been reported among wild geese in Himachal Pradesh, crows in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and ducks in Kerala. In Haryana, around one lakh poultry birds have died mysteriously in the last few days.
Avian influenza or bird flu is a highly contagious viral disease caused by Influenza Type A viruses, which generally affects poultry birds such as chickens and turkeys. There are many strains of the virus; some of them are mild and may merely cause a dip in egg production or other mild symptoms among chickens, while others are severe and lethal.
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