The government of India has confirmed that poultry samples collected from two villages in West Bengal have tested positive for an H5 strain of avian influenza.

The government has decided to immediately begin culling birds and destroying eggs and feed material to control further spread of the disease. All poultry within a radius of three kilometers of the infection will be culled. In addition to the culling strategy, surveillance will be carried out over a further radius up to 10 kilometers.

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Surveillance has been intensified throughout West Bengal to monitor further spread of infection. Steps taken include declaration of infected and surveillance areas; ban on movement of poultry and its products in the infected area; closure of poultry and egg markets and shops within a radius of 10 kilometers from the infected site; ban on movement of farm personnel; restricting access to wild and stray birds; restricting access to the infected premises; destruction of birds; disposal of dead birds and infected materials; clean-up and disinfection followed by sealing of the premises and issue of sanitization certificates; post operations surveillance; and imposition of legislative measures.