Monday, March 22, 2010

H5N1 Avian Flu Outbreak in Nepal

Last week, the government of Nepal declared an emergency in Jhyalbas area in Nawalparasi district after a laboratory in the UK confirmed that samples from poultry that Nepal had sent for testing had been confirmed to be infected with H5N1 Avian Influenza (AI).

The District Livestock Office (DLO) said that they were planning to cull all birds, chickens, ducks and equipment used in the poultry farming in the areas. A district-level bird flu control committee chaired by the Chief District Officer today also launched a campaign to control the flu outbreak along with the declaration of the emergency. An emergency response team has also been formed under the coordination of Dr Laxman Dhakal.

According to Dr Dhakal, DLO has established a control room for the collection of chickens, ducks and other birds. Import and export of birds have been restricted and the government will compensate farmers for the culling of all poultry.

Earlier, symptoms of the flu were detected in Jhapa and Pokhara. The emergency response team claimed that the flu might have entered Jhyalbasi from Pokhara as a direct bus service is in operation between the two places. The team said that it will not take long to cull the birds, as the emergency area does not have any large poultry farms.

Meanwhile, Dr RS Dip, Chief of the District Public Health Office, says they are preparing to have the health of all locals assessed as soon as possible in order to detect any human AI cases.

Source: The Himalayan Times

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