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1 dies, bird flu puts India on alert

Using protective masks, officials began culling nine lakh chickens, a day after the outbreak of bird flu in Maharashra.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2006 22:58 IST

Using protective masks and gloves, health officials on Sunday began culling nine lakh chickens, a day after theoutbreak of the dreaded bird flu in Navapur where two human cases of the disease were isolated and blood samples of 95 people were sent for pathological tests.

A 27-year-old man Ganesh Bhai Ramesh Bhai Sonar, who hailed from Navapur, died due to acute respitatory problem in a hospital in neighbouring Surat, officials said but brushed aside reports that it was related to the avian influenza and asserted that he had "no exposure to poultry".

Contingency plan launched

Taking no chance, theCentreon Sunday put into operation itscontingency plan culling the birds andMaharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said in Mumbai that nine lakh affected birds were being slaughtered to stop spread of the disease.

Officials also started vaccinating the birds after isolating them from the dead ones.

A door-to-door medical check up of people from 19 villages in three kilometer radius of Navapur also began for any flu symptoms and authorities sealed a ten kilometer periphery of the affected area.

First Published: Feb 19, 2006 11:02 IST