Image: Health workers carry killed ducks
Sushanta Das  /  AP
Indian health workers carry killed ducks to burry them at the R.K. Nagar Government Duck Farm in Agartala, India, on Feb. 18, 2011.
By
updated 2/20/2011 11:24:34 AM ET 2011-02-20T16:24:34

Health workers have killed about 4,000 ducks and chickens at a government-run farm in the remote northeastern Indian state of Tripura after some tested positive for bird flu, a government official said Sunday.

Sixteen public health teams also began slaughtering poultry within half a mile (one kilometer) of the state-run farm in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus, said Jyotirmoy Chakrabarty, joint director of the state's animal research department.

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Chakrabarty said some poultry on the government farm were infected with the H5 strain of bird flu, and more tests were under way to determine whether it was the virulent H5N1 subtype.

There were no reports of any humans being infected, he said.

"There is no cause for panic. We are eliminating the birds since they have tested positive for the H5 virus," Chakrabarty said.

The state government has banned the movement and sale of poultry and eggs from farms in the area, on the outskirts of Agartala, the state capital.

State authorities have also banned the import of poultry and eggs from Bangladesh, which is six miles (10 kilometers) from Agartala.

The last major outbreak of bird flu in India was in 2008, when millions of poultry were slaughtered. Minor outbreaks were reported in 2010.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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