Nepal rules out swine flu as mystery virus kills 13

May 7th, 2009 - 3:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, May 7 (IANS) A medical team that rushed to a remote village in western Nepal after a mystery disease killed 13 people in less than a fortnight Wednesday ruled out an outbreak of swine flu and attributed the deaths to a viral attack.
Over 40 more people in Gumla village in Gorkha district, the place from where deposed king Gyanendra’s ancestors had hailed, were being treated after they complained of headache, cough, sore throat and fever.

On Wednesday alone, three villagers had died, creating panic in the area.

However, Gunaraj Lohani, a doctor leading the medical team to the remote village, said the deaths were not due to swine flu but viral infection.

Nepal became concerned about swine flu after suffering an outbreak of bird flu in its eastern district Jhapa neighbouring India, which caused thousands of birds to be culled this year and triggered a shortage of chicken.

After an outbreak of swine flu, caused by influenza A (H1N1) virus, hit Mexico, killing over 40 people, the Nepal government ordered screening measures for visitors arriving at the Tribhuvan International Airport, the Himalayan republic’s sole international airport.

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