Avian Influenza
Maharashtra poultry farm owner dies in Gujarat
Feb 19, 2006 - 3:56:37 PM

A poultry farm owner from Maharashtra's Nandurbar district, where India's first case of bird flu was confirmed Saturday, has died in a Gujarat hospital, though authorities Sunday said they were confirming whether he had died of the dreaded disease.

Ganesh Sonarkar, 27, died Friday in a hospital in Surat, about 400 km south of here.

Surat district collector Vatsala Vasudev said that Sonarkar's medical reports had been sent to the concerned authorities for confirming the cause of his death.

"The man died Friday following some respiratory disorder. However, following the bird flu alert, we have sent his medical reports to the Nandurbar administration as well as the central government," Vasudev told IANS.

He was brought ten days ago to Surat, about 100 km from Nandurbar district, the site of the death of about 50,000 chickens in recent days.

Maharashtra Saturday confirmed that some of the birds had died of the deadly H5N1 strain of the avian influenza virus.

Since 2003, about 100 people have died because of bird flu of the 171 infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of the disease. Reports of human deaths due to bird flu have come from across Asia, Africa, Europe and parts of the Middle East.

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