26 districts flu-prone

KATHMANDU: The government on Wednesday declared 26 border districts, as well as Kathmandu Valley, as potential high-risk zone for avian influenza outbreak. World Health Organisation, however, has declared Nepal a bird flu-free zone.

Dr Nabin Ghimire, communication officer, Avian Influenza Control Project, said, “There is no trace of bird flu in Nepal anymore.” He said there remains the possibility of another outbreak.

Dr Indra Kanta Jha, programme co-ordinator, AICP, said, “WHO warns of another pandemic in near future and we have to prevent the entry of the virus in the country.”

The government has banned poultry business with other countries affected with bird flu. The poultry industry has an investment of Rs 16 billion and employs about one million people. Its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product is three per cent.

The government has launched Strengthen Emergency Preparedness for HPAI Control programme to prevent and control epidemics.