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India Confirms Outbreak of Bird Flu as Deadly H5N1 Strain


Officials in India have confirmed the latest outbreak of bird flu in poultry in the country's remote northeast is the deadly H5N1 strain.

Government officials said Thursday that plans are underway to slaughter 150,000 chickens within a five kilometer radius near the affected farm in the northeastern state of Manipur.

Health workers are also checking for flu-like symptoms in thousands of nearby residents.

Earlier this month, more than 130 chickens were found dead on the remote farm.

Manipur is on the border with Burma, which has seen outbreaks of bird flu this year.

Last August, India declared itself free of avian flu. No human cases of the disease have ever been reported in the country.

Bird flu has killed 192 people worldwide since 2003, mostly in Asia.

The World Health Organization says close contact with dead or sick birds is the principal source of human infection.

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