Although the BBC is reporting this outbreak as H5N1 (see India: Kerala orders culling over bird flu fears) the FAO-EMPRES report simply lists the cause as HPAI H5, a designation that is still being used in the majority of media reports coming out of India this morning.
Hopefully we’ll see an official statement on the subtype soon.
In the meantime, the agricultural minister has order a cull of as many as 200,000 birds and has ordered a halt of transport of ducks or other poultry products from the region. This from Mathrubhumi.com.
Alappuzha: With the avian flu virus in Alappuzha and Kottayam districts and also in a few panchayats being confirmed, the government will take preventive steps to contain the disease, said ministers V S Sivakumar and K P Mohanan at a joint press meet here on Tuesday.
'We got reports from a Bhopal laboratory that H5 avian influenza virus has been identified in poultry birds in Alappuzha, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts. So as a precautionary measure about two lakh birds mostly ducks would be culled starting Tuesday in the affected areas,' Agriculture Minister K.P. Mohanan told reporters after a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
The exact subtype, and clade, of this virus is yet to be determined, as it the extent of this outbreak.
Although it has been awhile, India is no stranger to seeing bird flu outbreaks, both in domesticated birds and in wild or migratory birds. The H5N1 virus was first detected on the Indian sub-continent in early 2006, but sparked numerous outbreaks in the 2008-2011 timeframe.
Last February, in OIE: H5N1 Detected In Crows Again – India, we saw the latest in a series of terrestrial bird detections that go back to at least 2008.
Unlike many other countries that have seen outbreaks in poultry, India has yet to report a human infection with the H5N1 virus.