Bird flu resurfaces in Tripura

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Agartala, Apr.23 : Bird flu has resurfaced in Tripura, a little more than a week after the culling of thousands of chickens was completed to contain the spread of the disease.

Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus in dead chickens in Tripura, which borders Bangladesh.

"This is the second time that the deadly bird flu virus has been detected in the state," Ashish Roy Barman, the director of the state's animal resource development (ARD) department, told ANI on Wednesday.

Health officials are visiting homes to check people for symptoms.

Checkpoints have been put in place to stop the transportation of chickens or poultry products outside the bird-flu zone.

Border guards along India's 864-kilometre border with Bangladesh, which all but surrounds the tiny state, have been put on a state of high alert.

Indian officials have expressed fears the virus may be spreading from Bangladesh.

Tripura is the second state after West Bengal in the country's east to report an outbreak of avian influenza this year.

Earlier this month, more than 40,000 birds were culled in the state following an outbreak of the disease.

India, which reported its first outbreak of avian flu in 2006, has not reported any human infections yet.

The H5N1 strain of the virus has killed more than 230 people worldwide since late 2003. Health experts fear the strain could mutate into a form easily transmitted from person to person, leading to a pandemic. By Pinaki Das

ANI

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