Bird flu is a viral disease which is contagious. It is a strain of influenza virus that primarily affects birds, but it can also infect humans. This type of flu is most often contracted through contact with sick birds, but it can also be passed from person to person.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, this torment has reemerged. In Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh are among several states that have been put on alert. This new outbreak has created deep concerns. The government ordered the culling of ducks, hens, and other domestic animals in and around a 1 km radius of the affected area.
Taking action in the affected areas
On Tuesday, the H5N8 strain of bird flu was detected among domestic birds in Alappuzha district in Kerala. According to officials, the migratory birds found dead at Pong Dam Lake in Himachal Kangra district tested positive for the contagion. Approximately 1,800 migratory birds have been found dead in the lake sanctuary.
The state officials have decided to cull nearly 40,000 birds. This action will prevent the spread of the virus. The Alappuzha district collector banned the trade and use of meat, including duck eggs and chicken, in the region. Tamil Nadu's animal husbandry department has issued a high alert in the border districts following the outbreak in Kerala.
Identifying the root of the problem
On Wednesday, the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying said that migratory birds are a cause for the spread. This flu has triggered alarms in north, central, and southern India also. The ministry stated, "In India, the disease spreads mainly by migratory birds coming into India during winter months, i.e. from September-October to February-March. The secondary spread by human handling cannot be ruled out".
Reports state that a survey is being carried out in certain areas to keep a close surveillance on people with symptoms like chills, coughing, and fever. State health department officials claimed that no cases of the H5N8 infection have been found in humans yet.