Thursday, August 1, 2013

Government bans transporation of poultry products in capital

The government has banned the transportation of chicken and all poultry products in and out of the capital to prevent the spread of the H5N1 virus, popularly known as bird flu.
The bird flu virus has been detected in several poultry farms in and around the Kathmandu Valley, Agriculture Ministry spokesman Prabhakar Pathak said, adding that however, no human casualties have been reported so far.
Due to ban on transportation some of the stores selling poultry have been shut down. But the government has urged the public not to panic as it is still under control and it is minutely monitoring the poultry farms.
The health workers have culled 20,000 chickens and destroyed more than 12,000 eggs at 30 affected farms since the latest outbreak of bird flu two weeks ago.
Nepal first witnessed outbreak of bird flu – or avian influenza – in poultry in January 2009. Since then, a total of 200,000 chickens have been culled and more than 400,000 eggs destroyed, according to the ministry.
But the poultry business has been one of the successful ventures in recent years and Nepal is self dependent on almost all poultry products due to increased production in the country. Despite regular disturbances in poultry production, the country is expected to see an overall poultry sector turnover of around Rs 59.69 billion in the last fiscal year 2012-13, up from some Rs 50 billion a fiscal year ago, according to the poultry entrepreneurs.
Increasing cost of production, apart from regular threats of viral, bacterial and fungal diseases in poultry farms have emerged as key challenges in the recent days in the poultry sector that has employed over 100,000 people with over Rs 32 billion investment.
But the sudden outbreak in the beginning of the current fiscal year is expected to hut the sector hard.

What is bird flu?
KATHMANDU: H5N1 is a highly pathogenic avian (bird) flu virus that has caused serious outbreaks in domestic poultry in parts of Asia and the Middle East. Highly pathogenic refers to the virus’s ability to produce disease. Although H5N1 does not usually infect humans, nearly 600 cases of human cases of H5N1 have been reported from 15 countries since 2003, according to World Health Organisation (WHO). In 2011, 62 human H5N1 cases and 34 deaths were reported from five countries—Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, and Indonesia.  Six countries— Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam—have widespread and ongoing infections in their poultry. Poultry outbreaks have occurred in other countries recently as well.
  • Most human cases of ‘highly pathogenic’ H5N1 virus infection have occurred in people who had recent contact with sick or dead poultry that were infected with H5N1 viruses. About 60 per cent of people infected with the virus died from their illness.
  • Unlike other types of flu, H5N1 usually does not spread between people.
  • There have been no reported infections with these viruses in birds, poultry, or people in the United States.
  • You cannot get infected with these viruses from properly handled and cooked poultry or eggs.

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