Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bird flu creates menace in Nepali capital #h5n1 #birdflu


  2012-02-19 19:30:07  
by Punjita Pradhan
KATHMANDU, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Bird flu threats have created a menace among people in Kathmandu as most of the poultry chicken are brought into the capital from the eastern part of the country where bird flu traces were found early this year.
After traces of bird flu were found in Dhading district, 43 km west of Kathmandu, the fright was even intensified. More than 20, 000 chickens tested positive for the avian influenza died in the region.
In November last year, traces of bird flu were found in Kathmandu, the first bird flu case in the Nepali capital.
Bird flu has also been discovered in Ilam, Sunsari and Jhapa districts in the eastern part and Dhading district in central part of the country this year. The areas have been declared as red alert region and necessary measures to tackle the virus have been taken.
On Feb. 18, the directorate of animal health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives told media that no records of the virus had been found recently in the capital.
"A crow was found dead in the capital on Jan. 19 with bird flu. However, it does not confirm the breakout of the virus. We are collecting more samples," said the directorate.
Dr. Ram Krishna Khatiwada, program director at the directorate, told Xinhua that samples were being collected from dead birds to figure out the bird flu situation in the country and to take necessary measures.
He added that the people could still eat birds after it is cooked thoroughly.
The ministry issued a notice for the prevention of the disease, especially in poultry farmers.
Thousands of chickens and birds have been culled in risky areas.
Despite the government's assurance that the capital is not yet on high alert for the disease, the locals have refrained themselves from consuming chickens, ducks and even eggs.
Sales of chicken and ducks have been reduced by a large percentage.
"I am not aware of what the government and stakeholders are doing to prevent it, but we are avoiding eating chicken because prevention is always better than cure," Anup Singh, a local resident of the Kathmandu Valley told Xinhua.
Prajjwal Shahi, owner of a slaughter house and cold store, said that with the sales of chicken going down, the price of mutton and buff has increased.
Avian virus is a virus which is prevalent in birds and is also transferable to mammals including human. It has generated a great pandemic around the world, with Asia at the forefront.

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