Indian health officials have confirmed that an outbreak of bird flu in the eastern part of the country, near Bangladesh, is the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus.

The new outbreak has already killed about 35,000 birds in the state of West Bengal. The state's minister for animal resources, Anisur Rahaman, Tuesday said the poultry deaths were reported from farms in the Morgram village in the Birbhum District, and in south Dinajpur.

West Bengal officials have ordered the culling of all poultry within a few kilometers of the area. Health teams, armed with protective gear and medicine, have also been dispatched to monitor villagers for flu-like symptoms. A quarantine area will also be set up.

No human cases of bird flu have been reported in India, but last July the country reported its first bird flu outbreak among poultry since it declared itself free of the disease in 2006.

According to the World Health Organization, bird flu has killed at least 216 people worldwide since 2003, mostly in Asia.

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