Bird flu controlled.

Kerala government said the avian influenza which had hit the duck-rearing Central Kerala’s Kuttanad region has been brought under control. So far, 1.80 lakh ducks have been culled and the operation would be wound up on Monday with culling of another batch of 50,000 poultry.

Health Minister V S Shivakumar said the virus which was identified as H5N1 has not hit humans so far. Six samples were collected from persons with symptoms of avian flu, but all of them were negative. However, the government has equipped the hospitals in Alappuzha to face the situation if humans were found affected with H5N1. The health department t has put under observation around 3 lakh persons and visited 80,000 households in the affected areas, said the minister.

Although duck deaths have been reports from many part of Central Kerala, tests showed they were not due to avian influenza. The government has decided to extent the financial assistance to the duck farmers who had lost their bird even before the avian influenza was confirmed.

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