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Bird flu found in another Siberian province

by 5m Editor
24 August 2005, at 12:00am

RUSSIA - The bird flu virus which has swept six Russian regions has been found in a wild duck in another Siberian province, officials said on Wednesday, but the agriculture minister said that its spread had been curbed.

Bird flu found in another Siberian province - RUSSIA - The bird flu virus which has swept six Russian regions has been found in a wild duck in another Siberian province, officials said on Wednesday, but the agriculture minister said that its spread had been curbed.

The government of the Altai Republic said samples taken from the bird shot on Aug. 13 indicated the presence of bird flu virus "of the fifth type".

Its statement did not say whether the strain was of the H5N1 subtype which is potentially lethal to humans and has killed at least 50 people in Asia since 2003.

The mountainous Altai Republic borders Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and the separate Altai region, one of six Russian regions where the bird flu virus had been officially confirmed so far.

Officials said the local veterinary service would inspect all farms close to where the duck was shot and restrict contacts between wild and domestic fowl.

Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev was quoted as saying on Wednesday that the spread of bird flu had been curbed.

"Touch wood, we see that the situation is getting calmer, the disease has been localised," Interfax news agency quoted Gordeyev as saying.

He said that bird flu had been restricted to small private farms and had not affected big industrial bird farms, which were taking precautions against the virus.

Russia has culled 129,756 birds to prevent the spread of the virus since July 21. Another 11,725 birds died of the virus, including 10 in the last 24 hours, the Emergencies Ministry said in a report on Wednesday.

No case of human infection with the H5N1 virus has been discovered in Russia so far.

The Federal Consumers' Rights and Welfare Service said it had lifted quarantine from 12 locations in five regions including one in the Caspian province of Kalmykia where a reported case of bird flu was not confirmed.

Kazakhstan's Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday that a bird flu outbreak in seven northern villages had been confirmed to be dangerous to humans and the west of the sprawling country was under threat from the disease.

Mongolia reported earlier this month that dozens of wild fowl had died of bird flu in a province bordering Siberia.

Source: Reuters - 24th August 2005

5m Editor