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After Ramkot, bird flu in Sitapaila

KATHMANDU, DEC 26 - Over 2,000 chickens were slaughtered at Mahadol on Wednesday after the Bird flu (H5N1) virus outbreak in a hatchery at Ramkot-6 spread to Sitapaila-1. Mahadol lies just 50 meters from Ramkot-6.

A team of experts from the Department of Livestock Services (DoLS) culled 2,240 chickens, 700kg of poultry feed and 105 eggs from the farm belonging to Surya Mohan Pokhrel. The Tripureshwor-based Central Veterinary Laboratory confirmed the outbreak of the avian flu at the poultry farm at around 2pm on Wednesday.

The experts had sent a sample that they collected while inspecting the farm of Surendra Man Basnet at Ramkot. “We had suspicions that the chickens of the nearby farm might have been contracted the flu and had sent the sample on Monday,” said Dr Narayan Prasad Ghimire, a senior veterinary doctor at the DoLS.

Meanwhile, a seven-member probe committee has been formed to investigate the farm of Basnet whose chicken had ‘disappeared’ all of a sudden on Tuesday when the team on the way to his farm for culling. The central laboratory had also confirmed the avian flu at Basnet’s hatchery on Sunday.

Chief District Officer of Kathmandu Chudamani Sharma said the committee headed by Bolraj Sharma of the District Veterinary Office will submit its report in three days. “If the team finds that Basnet was involved in selling or exporting chicken, he will be booked under the Bird Flu Control Order 2007,” Sharma said.

Nepal witnessed its first avian flu outbreak in 2008 in Jhapa. Since then, major outbreaks have been reported in Pokhara, Nawalparasi and Banke. Similar outbreaks were reported in a Dhading poultry farm on December 21 and a farm in Bode, Bhaktapur on October 15. Likewise, in March, cases of bird flu were reported on Lalitpur farms. The first case of the flu inside the Kathmandu Valley was reported in November 2011 in the Manohara river.

Bird flu, also known as avian influenza, is an infection caused by the avian (bird) influenza (flu) A virus. This influenza A virus occurs naturally in birds. Birds are often infected with the flu in the wild but do not usually get sick. However, the avian flu is very contagious among birds and infections among domesticated bird species, including chicken, ducks and turkeys, can go endemic, killing large numbers. Infected birds shed the influenza virus in their saliva, nasal secretions and faeces. The highly pathogenic form of the virus spreads even more rapidly through poultry farms. This form can cause a disease that affect multiple internal organs and has a mortality rate of 90-100 percent often within 48 hours.

If the bird-flu virus get transmitted to humans, the general symptoms of the disease are fever more than 100.4 F, cough, sore throat, muscle aches and difficulty in breathing. “However, during the winter, such symptoms are common.

So when one experiences difficulty in breathing and shows other symptoms, s/he should see a doctor,” said Kumar Dahal, public health inspector at the Department of Health Services. People suffering from chronic diseases have to be immediately referred to hospital if they develop these symptoms, he said. Doctors say the persons diagnosed with avian flu must be put in isolation, fed liquids and observe complete rest.

Posted on: 2012-12-27 08:20

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