- (Reuters) -- A bird flu outbreak has expanded in Siberia
and spread to Mongolia on Wednesday, and Kazakhstan confirmed a fowl virus
found in the Central Asian state could kill humans.
- Officials said no people had been infected so far, but
the highly potent H5N1 strain has killed more than 50 people in Asia since
2003. Outbreaks in the former Soviet bloc raised fears the virus could
infect humans and trigger a global epidemic.
- In the Novosibirsk region, officials found the virus
in another village, Novorozino, taking the total number of infected areas
there to 14, Interfax reported.
- "Domestic birds in that village will be ... killed,"
a regional administration official said, Interfax reported.
- About 35,000 birds have been killed in the Novosibirsk
region to prevent the deadly virus from spreading further.
- The total number of bird deaths since the epidemic hit
Siberia in mid-July rose to 8,347 on Wednesday, the Emergency Situations
Ministry said. The number on Tuesday was just over 5,580.
- "There have been no cases of people getting ill,"
the ministry said in a statement.
- In Kazakhstan, which shares a long border with Siberia,
the Agriculture Ministry confirmed that the virus found in birds was the
deadly H5N1 strain.
- The ministry, which reported an outbreak of avian flu
on Aug. 4, said a quarantine was in place in the affected area near the
village of Golubovka in northern Kazakhstan's Pavlodar region.
- In Mongolia, which also shares a border with Russia,
nearly 80 migratory birds have died from bird flu, the first time the disease
has been reported in the country, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization
- Russian's Emergency Situations Ministry said most bird
deaths on Tuesday and Wednesday occurred in the Omsk and Kurgan regions
on the Kazakh border.
- Other affected regions include Altai and Tyumen.
- Kazakhstan sought to play down fears of a growing problem.
"The epizootic situation in poultry farms is safe," the Agriculture
Ministry said. "As of Aug. 9, there have been no reports of new outbreaks
of the disease among poultry or wildfowl in the country."