Bird flu in Kerala: Health department issues guidelines

A special monitoring camp has been arranged for those who reach the hospital with symptoms of body pain, fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Representative image
Representative image
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The Kerala government has issued special guidelines to prevent bird flu among humans after around 29,589 birds were found dead at 19 places spread across the three districts - Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta and Kottayam– since the outbreak of the flu in April. 

The bird flu outbreak in the state was reported on April 16. According to a press release, a special monitoring camp has been arranged for those who reach the hospital with symptoms of body pain, fever, cough and shortness of breath. The statement said even though the bird flu infection has not been reported among humans in Kerala yet, proper precautions should be taken. Bird flu infection is reported in humans in some parts of the world, however it is very rare. 

Health Minister Veena George, who heads the Rapid Response Team (RRT), said that the department will host awareness programs under the leadership of well-trained One Health Community volunteers in the three districts. Further, the health department has instructed the public not to touch dead birds, which could possibly be infected. People who come in contact with such birds should wear face masks and gloves. They should wash their hands frequently with soap and water. The public have been urged to inform the health department about any unnatural deaths among birds in their surroundings. 

Precautions to take:  

1. Before consuming meat and eggs, make sure its well cooked 

2. Anyone those with infected areas develop any respiratory issues should notify the health workers

3. Those who come into close contact with the infected birds or handling pet birds, should take preventive measures to avoid becoming infected. 

4. Those who have any symptoms, should immediately report to the nearest health centre or health workers. 

5. Those who have come into contact with the infected birds should take preventive medicines as per the prescription of health workers. 

6. People should follow the guidelines provided by the health department. 

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