Bird Flu Alert

High alert to prevent Bird flu – Indian poultry banned

KATHMANDU: The Nepal government effectively banned the import of Indian poultry products after bird flu infection cases were reported from many states.

According to an official, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has sent a letter directing the Department of Livestock Services to immediately halt the import of the poultry and poultry products to prevent the spread of the Bird flu into Nepal. Last year, a bird flu death was reported from Nepal and the precautions were duly communicated by WHO.

The precautionary guidelines, that are similar in nature to the ongoing Covid are being shared here to enable immediate preventive measures with a particular reference to poultry.

Preventive measures

The following preventive measures would reduce the risk of Influenza A (H5N1) Infection:

• Wash hands frequently and properly,

• Take due care of personal hygiene,

• Maintain cleanliness of surroundings,

• Use gloves and masks while handling domestic poultry and other birds,

• Avoid preparing or eating raw or undercooked poultry products,

• Handle raw poultry hygienically and cook all poultry and poultry products (including eggs) thoroughly before eating,

• Keep children away from the dead or sick birds,

• Avoid contact with domestic birds (poultry) that appear ill or have died,

• Avoid contact with high-risk environments such as live/wet poultry/animal markets and poultry farms, and any free-ranging or caged poultry,

• Avoid contact with surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from wild or domestic birds,

• Avoid close contact with people with respiratory symptoms (cough, sneezing & cold),

• Travellers returning from areas affected by avian flu outbreak in domestic/wild birds should report to local health services if respiratory symptoms (cough, sneezing & cold) suspecting Avian Influenza.

Do’s & Don’ts for persons experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, malaise, muscle pain, diarrhea):

• Wash hands regularly with proper drying of the hands,

• Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. If using tissues, dispose of them correctly,

• Self-isolate early if feeling unwell, feverish, and having other symptoms,

• Visit hospital or Contact  doctors immediately, if you experience any flu-like symptoms,

• People with direct contact with sick poultry to be vigilant to notice the occurrence of the illness early and seek treatment early,

• Do not take medicines without doctor’s prescriptions,

• Always use masks, goggles, gloves, gown, and cap when near infected patients and always wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.

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