KATHMANDU – On Aug. 15, Nepal's government ordered health workers to cull a half -million chickens to combat a major bird flu outbreak on the outskirts of the capital Kathmandu., according to the AFP. The cull was ordered after tens of thousands of birds have already been killed in one of the Himalayan nation's worst outbreaks of avian flu, government officials said.
Nepal's first outbreak of bird flu was in January 2009. In the past few weeks, 62 cases of bird flu have been recorded at 250 poultry farms in three districts, said officials at the Directorate of Animal Health. They added the government ordered the cull to be accelerated after failing to control the H5N1 virus after imposing a week-long ban on poultry-product sales.
Between 2003 until July 5 of 2013, H5N1, which is a common strain of bird flu, has killed 377 people globally, according to the World Health Organization. No human deaths from bird flu have been reported in Nepal.