The Indian government confirmed on Thursday that the latest outbreak of bird flu in poultry in the remote northeast of the country was of the dangerous H5N1 strain.

It has been confirmed as the H5N1 strain, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health Vineet Chawdhry told Reuters.

Hundreds of health workers will fan out in Manipur state to check on the health of some 450,000 people in and around the affected poultry farm in the village of Chingmeirong on the outskirts of Imphal, the state capital.

None of the people in the poultry unit or veterinary workers dealing with the outbreak are showing flu symptoms, but they have been put on the anti-flu drug Tamiflu just in case, Chawdhry said.

The confirmation of the H5N1 strain came after authorities received the results from two government laboratories.

India declared itself bird flu free last August after two major outbreaks of the H5N1 virus in chickens in western India. It culled around a million birds to contain those outbreaks.

It plans to slaughter some 150,000 poultry in a 5 km (3 mile) radius around the affected farm.

India has had no human case of bird flu.

Neighboring Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan have also witnessed outbreaks of the H5N1 strain of bird flu this year.