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India Closes Part of Bangladesh Border Over Bird Flu Fears


Indian officials say India has closed part of its border with Bangladesh in a bid to contain the latest outbreak of bird flu.

Local officials in West Bengal state say they sealed the border to stop people from smuggling chickens and ducks across it while authorities are slaughtering thousands of birds in the area.

The culling in West Bengal began earlier this week after poultry tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus. Local agriculture officials say they hope to finish slaughtering some 20-thousand birds soon. But they also say some villagers have been resisting the order to turn over their birds because they want more compensation. And there are reports that birds are continuing to die off, sparking fears that the disease is spreading.

It is the third outbreak of bird flu in West Bengal this year. Authorities are also culling birds in Assam state, elsewhere in northeastern India, to contain a separate outbreak of the virus there.So far, no human cases have been reported, but health officials are monitoring about 100 people in Assam who are showing flu-like symptoms.

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