In the wake of lab tests confirming bird flu as the reason behind the death of 14,000 ducks in Alapuzha, the Kerala government has ordered culling of poultry within one-km radius of the affected area.
Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy has called a high-level meeting on Tuesday to take stock of the situation and take proper measures to tackle the situation.
"No need for panic. I have called an emergency meet on Tuesday to coordinate various departments. We have also asked Union health ministry to rush enough medicines," Chandy told HT.
A team of veterinarians has been sent to the affected areas to take necessary steps to check further spread, said Director-in-Charge of the department Dr V Brhamanandan said.
Besides culling of the birds, red alert has been sounded within 10 km of the areas from where the death of ducks was reported. Brhamanandan said that transportation of egg and duck meat from these places has also been discontinued.
According to experts, migrating waterfowls may have spread the disease to ducks in the region. The government has also initiated an awareness programme for the farmers involved in rearing duck for meat. They have been asked to be cautious.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is located near the affected area.
As per World Health Organisation, avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, is an infectious viral disease of birds, but most avian flu viruses do not infect humans.
In Kuttanad, also called as Kerala's rice-bowl, duck farming season starts in September with Christmas seeing some mega sales.