Bird flu now in Nepal, 40,000 birds culled

world | Jan 23, 2009 | By Asia News

The bird flu has come to Nepal. No one has died yet, but five people suspected of having been infected by the virus have been hospitalised in critical conditions. Outbreaks were reported in the eastern part of the country, in particular in Jhapa district, with the virus coming probably from India.

The first case was reported last Sunday. Soon after, the government deployed an emergency control team to the area. It includes a doctor, a poultry farmers’ representative and security staff under the command of Jhapa’s Chief District Officer Laxman Hamal.

Lab tests indicated that dozens of chickens and ducks died from the bird flu. Many children and poultry farmers are also thought to have contracted the infection.

Nepali authorities ordered the border with India closed to all animals that might carry the virus, and ordered its border officials to tighten controls.

The government also ordered the culling of more than 40,000 chickens and ducks in the affected area.

Ramkrishna Khatiwada, head of Central Animal Quarantine and coordinator of the Bird Flu Control team, said the operation will be extended to other areas.

“The second phase operation will involve the major cities, including Kathmandu where chickens and ducks are consumed to a larger extent. The team will cull all birds and ducks to prevent infection,” he explained.

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Source: Asia News

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