Nepal's government has declared the Bhaktapur district, which has been hit by the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, an "emergency area," closing down two dozen schools and putting in place a high alert program in 26 surrounding districts.
The outbreak originated from a poultry farm near Manohara Khola, which reported an incident involving 35 dead chickens that were found to have died from bird flu. Actions were then taken to prevent the spread of the disease, including culling the birds. "Over 500 chickens and ducks have been slaughtered," said government health official Narayan Prasad Ghimire. "We also destroyed dozens of eggs and several kilos of poultry feed. We've banned the production and consumption of poultry products in the crisis-hit area. Poultry farming will not be allowed for at least one and-a-half months."
Bhaktapur is the second-largest chicken-producing district in Nepal, usually producing 10,000 kilograms of chicken and 150,000 eggs per day.