Bird Flu Reportedly
Enters Russia
From Patricia Doyle, PhD
This was posted on my message board with a question, "How did AH5N1 get to Russia?" The poster theorized that it was not bird migration time and how did the virus enter Russia.
Henry, do you have any theories on how, other than bird migration? I would think that the virus could move among birds by "overlap" i.e. birds flying in their own zones do overlap and can infect birds flying further towards Russia until overlap after overlap the virus arrives.
Explanation Needed On How 'Bird Flu' Entered Russia
MOSCOW/NOVOSIBIRSK (RIA Novosti) - Chief State Medical Officer Gennady Onishchenko says specialists must find an explanation for how the "bird flu" virus managed to enter Russia.
He confirmed that the virus had been discovered among birds in Suzdalka in the Novosibirsk Region of Siberia.
"We have been carrying out laboratory research and looking for infection among humans." He confirmed that no human cases have been found, "although not much time has passed since the virus appeared.
"We now have to ascertain how the virus entered our territory."
However, as Novosibirsk Medical Officer Boris Yagudin has said, it is still early to be talking of an outbreak of bird flu in the region since it is not yet clear what domestic birds are dying of, he said.
"Domesticated birds die [because] of many factors. This could have occurred because they were fed inappropriate food."
According to the Dovolensky District Administration in the region, the domestic birds were owned by the local population, and not bird farms, as was previously announced. The administration says that there are no bird farms in the district.
MOSCOW (Xinhuanet) -- Russia has detected the country's first case of bird flu in the Siberian region of Novosibirsk, the Emergency Situations Ministry said Thursday.
"High bird mortality rates were registered in the village of Suzdalka. Tests have revealed the AH5 bird flu virus," ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov told the Interfax news agency.
More than 200 geese and 100 chickens have died in the past few days in the village, and the Novosibirsk region is taking measures to prevent further spread of the virus, Beltsov said.
Russia's chief epidemiologist Gennady Onishchenko also told Interfax that experts are verifying the report of bird flu in Suzdalka.
"Like people, birds can become ill from time to time. This Novosibirsk village is the only place in Russia today where cases of bird flu have been registered. We are investigating what actually happened there," Onishchenko said.
"There will be no quarantine. People have not fallen ill and it is the veterinarians' business to cure the birds," he said.
The AH5 bird flu virus, which can be transmitted to humans, has claimed the lives of more than 50 people in Asia since 2003.
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
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