Authorities in Nepal on Monday destroyed hundreds of chickens and eggs after an outbreak of bird flu hit the country's capital Kathmandu, according to a government official.
Government officials said that the birds were culled after the H5N1 strain of bird flu was detected at a poultry farm on the outskirts of Kathmandu. The virus was detected in Kathmandu for the first time in December 2011, and it was also detected in southeastern Nepal in February.
"Around 1,200 chickens had died from bird flu virus in a poultry farm," said Narayan Prasad Ghimire, a senior veterinary officer at the Directorate of Animal Health, according to AFP. "We have killed the remaining 800 chickens and destroyed thousands of eggs," he said. Government officials said that health workers are now conducting surveillance of the affected area.
The H5N1 virus, also called the avian influenza, spreads from birds to humans through direct contact and many researchers fear that the virus could mutate into a more deadly strain that is easily transmitted between humans. Farmers and people who work with birds, travelers visiting foreign countries stricken by bird flu, those who come into contact with infected birds and those who eat raw or undercooked poultry meat, eggs, or blood from infected birds are most likely to contract the disease.
Some of the symptoms associated with bird flu include fever, difficulty breathing, diarrhea and sometimes even death.