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India Restricts Access to Bird Flu-Hit Town of Navapur


Indian authorities have set up checkpoints around the western town of Navapur to help contain the country's first outbreak of bird flu among chickens. Tests on people so far have been negative.

Officials say they are stopping poultry workers and sick people from leaving the town until they have been tested for bird flu. Authorities are also restricting rail and road traffic through Navapur to minimize contact between outsiders and local people.

Movement of poultry around the town in Maharashtra state has been banned.

A spokeswoman for India's Health Ministry Thursday, said that 94 of 95 human samples tested negative for avian influenza. It is not clear if the samples were from 95 different people or multiple samples from nine people who have been hospitalized with flu-like symptoms.

Bird flu can spread to humans who have direct contact with infected birds. However, experts are concerned the virus may mutate and spread easily among people.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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