Nepal culls chickens amid bird flu outbreak

October 15, 2012

Health workers in Nepal on Monday culled hundreds of chickens and destroyed eggs following an outbreak of bird flu in the capital Kathmandu, a government official said.

Officials found the H5N1 strain of at a poultry farm on the outskirts of the city, where it was first detected 10 months ago.

"Around 1,200 chickens had died from in a poultry farm," said Narayan Prasad Ghimire, a senior veterinary officer at the Directorate of Animal Health.

"We have killed the remaining 800 chickens and destroyed thousands of eggs," he said, adding that his team was conducting surveillance of the affected area.

The virus was detected in Kathmandu for the first time in December last year. In February, it was also found in southeastern Nepal.

Nepal's first reported outbreak of bird flu in poultry was in January 2009.

The typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact, but experts fear it could mutate into a form that is easily transmissible between humans.

It causes fever, respiratory problems and sometimes death.

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