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Bird flu spreads to Thane, Palghar in Maharashtra; culling begins
The latest cases were in Agashiu-Vasai-Vatar region of the Palghar district of Maharashtra. Samples were sent to ICAR-National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, and they have come positive. Fowls were found dead in some districts. More than 25,000 poultry birds have been culled in Shahapur in Thane district. Poultry traders say prices will shoot up, but not consumption.

MUMBAI, Feb 20: Bird flu is spreading in Maharashtra. After Thane district, the virus was detected in Palghar didtrict on Sunday. Samples have tested positive for avian influenza.

Testing began when a large number of fowls were found dead in some districts. About 100 birds died of the H5N1 virus at a poultry farm in Vehloli village in Shahapur tehsil of Thane last week. Thane authorities issued a notification for the culling of birds in the poultry farms within a one-km radius of the affected farm. More than 25,000 poultry birds have been culled in Shahapur.

The latest cases were in Agashiu-Vasai-Vatar region of the Palghar district. Samples were sent to ICAR-National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, by the State Government and they have come positive.

State health authorities have declared the situation as under control and appealed to the public not to panic. A surveillance zone of 10 sq km has been declared around the affected regions and no sale-purchase of the bird will be allowed in the areas.

Poultry traders said the reports would only lead to price rise and that there was no dip in the business due to the bird flu.

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