The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed that H5N1, the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, has been signalled the Bhutanese village of Tsimasham, in the Chhukha district.
The outbreak was first noticed on the 30th of December, when 87 chickens succumbed at backyard poultry farm near a national highway.
On the 5th and 6th of January the authorities started culling birds from the stricken and neighbouring farms, after the Bhutan national laboratory of animal health confirmed the outbreak.
The director of the Ministry of Agriculture’s department of Livestock, Mr Tenzin Dhendup, reported the outbreak to the OIE on the 10th of January, when the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal, India confirmed the outbreak based on the positive findings of two separate PCR tests.
Quarantine measures have been put in place, and the remaining susceptible birds (numbering ~2010 individuals) from the affected area will be culled. So far, 1241 birds have already been destroyed.
The last occurrence of the H5N1 virus in Bhutan was in March of 2010.