Kolkata: India began culling thousands of chickens on Monday and checking people for fever in a remote eastern village after preliminary tests on dead poultry showed they were infected with bird flu.
But officials were still testing to see if the latest outbreak of avian influenza was of the deadly bird flu strain.
Health workers wearing protective suits and masks began scanning backyard poultry around Margram village in West Bengal state where more than 10,000 chickens died in the past 10 days.
"Not just the villages, we are also looking to cull chickens in a nearby town as most people there have backyard poultry," said Mrinal Majumder, a West Bengal police officer.
"We have cleared roads, restricted movement of people and stopped people from selling chickens [in the area]," he said.
Officials said they were receiving reports of dead birds from more villages. They estimate the number of birds that need to be culled at "several thousands".