Authorities seal Indian town where bird flu outbreak

Authorities on Thursday sealed a western Indian town at the center of the country's first outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, allowing no one in or out, police said.

Roads to Navapur were closed and trains crossing the area were not being permitted to stop at stations inside the town, said P.G. Chowdhury of the local police.

The cordon covered a 3-kilometer (1.8-mile) radius from the town, and Chowdhury said senior officials in the state had ordered it set up as a precaution a day after workers finished slaughtering 700,000 chickens to stop the spread of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

He said that while some people were still moving through the area on foot, by dusk, "no one will be allowed to come in. Those who are inside will stay in, the ones outside will stay out."

He could not say how long the cordon would be in place.

Nine people have been hospitalized in Navapur since the outbreak was announced Saturday, although an Indian Health Ministry spokeswoman, S. Radakrishnan, said Thursday that tests have so showed no signs of people having contracted the infection, reports the AP.


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