Bird flu cases confirmed in three places in Kathmandu Valley

Published On: February 6, 2023 08:18 PM NPT By: Sara Pahari

KATHMANDU, Feb 6:  Bird flu infection has been confirmed in three places in the Kathmandu Valley, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD).

Officials at the MoALD said that bird flu cases have so far been confirmed in Lalitpur and Kathmandu. 

“Bird flu infection has been confirmed in chickens reared in Khumaltar of Lalitpur district and Tarakeswar Municipality and Ramkot area of Nagarjun Municipality in Kathmandu district,” said MoALD Spokesperson Prakash Kumar Sanjel.

The first infection of A (H5N1), also known as bird flu or avian influenza virus, was confirmed in a Turkey farm of Lalitpur-based Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC) in Khumaltar, last Friday. However, authorities have yet to take measures to contain the spread of the infection. The MoALD said that a small number of birds there have been culled as a part of the containment measure.

Bird flu infection has also been confirmed in a farm in Ramkot, Nagarjun Municipality-6. According to the ministry, 4,500 chickens and 2,255 eggs in the farm have been destroyed.

The outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 virus has long been detected in poultry birds and has also infected an increasing number of migratory birds, allowing it to spread further to other mammals and increasing the risk of new variants spreading among humans.

According to the Department of Livestock Services, they have received samples of dead birds from several other poultry farms which have been sent to the Central Veterinary Laboratory for tests to detect bird flu.

In Nepal, the first case of bird flu was detected in a remote non-commercial poultry farm in Kakarvitta, eastern Nepal, on January 16, 2009. More than 256 H5N1 outbreaks have been witnessed in poultry farms since then.

The outbreak peaked in 2012, followed by a silent period of four years. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of the infection.

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