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'Bird flu detected in Nepal'

world Updated: Jan 16, 2009 16:53 IST
Anirban Roy

Months after Bird-flu epidemic in eastern Indian states of Assam and West Bengal, the killer avian-influenza has now hit the Himalayan nation as well.

An emergency meeting of the council of ministers held on Friday announced that Bird Flu has been detected in eastern Nepal. This is the first time that bird-flu has been detected in Nepal.

Krishna Bahadur Mahara, spokesman of Nepal government said that avian-flu virus has been detected in six samples in Mechinagar in the eastern district of Jhapa (bordering West Bengal).

The government has declared ward no 10 of Mechinagar Municipality in Jhapa district as the "Bird Flu Emergency Area".

To check the spread of the avian-flu the government has also banned import of poultry products from India. Everyday, huge quantity of poultry products, including day-old-chicks are imported from Bihar and West Bengal.

Nepal government directed the authorities of Mechi Nagar municipality to immediately take all precautionary measures to control the spread of the virus in the other districts.

All birds within three-kms of the Indo-Nepal border in Jhapa district are being culled, Mahara said, adding that the animal quarantine office at the land port in Kakarvitta has been declared a sensitive area.

The government has directed the officials of Animal Development Department to supervise the process of culling and surveillance along the 1,750 km-long Indo-Nepal border.

The government also decided to increase the surveillance up to 10 kms from the international border.