December 2, 2011


Kathmandu bird flu outbreak causes poultry culling


The first reported outbreak of bird flu in the capital Kathmandu resulted in the culling of hundreds of chickens and ducks by the Nepalese health workers, a government official said Thursday (Nov 24).


"Over 500 chickens and ducks have been slaughtered in the last three days. We also destroyed dozens of eggs and several kilogrammes of poultry feed," government health official Narayan Prasad Ghimire told AFP.


Ghimire said a rapid response team was mobilised in the area on the outskirts of Kathmandu to prevent the virus spreading to other parts of the city.


The outbreak was discovered after a local poultry farmer told health officials that 90 of his chickens had suddenly died.


Samples sent to a laboratory in Britain confirmed the H5N1 strain.


"We've banned the production and consumption of poultry products in the crisis-hit area. Poultry farming will not be allowed for at least one and half months," said Ghimire.


Nepal's first reported outbreak of bird flu in poultry was in January 2009 when the virus was discovered in the eastern part of the Himalayan country.


If it spreads to humans, bird flu can cause fever, cough, sore throat, pneumonia, respiratory disease and sometimes death.

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