Poultry Farm Closed Down Near Calcutta After Unusual Deaths Of Chickens, Official Says

INDIA - Authorities closed down a poultry farm in eastern India after hundreds of chickens died, and samples have been sent to a federal laboratory to determine whether they were infected with bird flu, a top official said Friday.
calendar icon 25 May 2007
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Preliminary tests indicated the chickens may have died from Newcastle disease, a highly contagious respiratory virus, and not the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, said Dilip Das, director of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services.

Newcastle disease affects all species of birds, but is not known to attack humans.

Samples have been sent to India's High Risk Animal Disease Laboratory in the central Indian city of Bhopal for a final determination, Das said.

The chicken farm is located on the outskirts of Calcutta, capital of West Bengal state.

Source: International Herald Tribune

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