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H5N1 caused poultry deaths near Moscow: chief epidemiologist

by 5m Editor
17 February 2007, at 11:46am

RUSSIA - Russia's chief epidemiologist and the head of the government's food security watchdog confirmed on Friday that the H5N1 strain of bird flu was the cause of poultry deaths in the south of the Moscow Region according to Xinhua.

"The pathogenicity of this virus for humans has not been confirmed," Gennady Onishchenko was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying.

Bird flu cases have been detected in a private farmstead in the Domodedovo District's town of Pavlovsky, where households have a total of about 700 birds, he said.

Onishchenko said it was highly unlikely that the virus would spread to commercial poultry producers.

"Poultry farms in the Domodedovo District are modern and self- contained operations," he said.

Acting Governor Alexei Panteleyev said bird flu cases had also been detected in the Odintsovo district, west of Moscow.

"The (sick) birds -- fewer than a hundred in all -- have been culled," he said.

He said that people who may have been in contact with the dead birds are now in hospital, undergoing medical tests.

Russia's most recent bird flu outbreak occurred in mid-January, in the southern region of Krasnodar, but it was contained by February.

5m Editor