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Around 300,000 chickens and ducks have been slaughtered
Around 300,000 chickens and ducks have been slaughtered in the past two weeks in the northeast Indian state of Assam in the latest outbreak of bird flu virus, local media reported on Friday.

"It is a matter of worry with the virus now spreading to new areas and hence a maximum health alert has been sounded. Teams of doctors and paramedics are taking precautionary measures so that humans are not affected," the Times of India cited a local Health Ministry official as saying.

Bird flu was detected last month in a village close to the state capital, Guwahati. The fatal virus has spread to six districts of the state, sparking fears of human bird flu cases as some patients showed signs of fever and respiratory infections.

Although no cases of human-to-human transmission of avian influenza have been reported, scientists fear the virus could mutate into a strain that could pass easily from person to person, causing a global pandemic.

Medical experts believe that the virus originated from neighboring Bangladesh.

A total of 246 people have died worldwide from bird flu since the first fatality was registered in 2003, according to the World Health Organization.


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