Bird Flu Cases
Registered in
Russia's Siberia
From Patricia Doyle, PhD
Large quantities of poultry were killed by the bird flu virus type AH5 in the city of Novosibirsk, the chief spokesman for Russia's Emergencies Ministry said Thursday [21 Jul 2005].
Viktor Beltsov, a spokesman for the Emergencies Ministry, said bird flu had been detected in poultry in a village in Siberia's Novosibirsk region. "Numerous birds have died...and an investigation showed the presence of the AH5-type bird flu virus," Beltsov said.
But Sergei Dankvert, chief animal and plant safety officer, told Reuters that the death of the birds could have been caused by other factors. "We cannot say now if something out of the ordinary has occured. The reason behind the accident could be bad water, feed poisoning, Newcastle disease or bird flu. More investigation is needed," Dankvert said.
As many as 200 geese and 100 chickens were killed by the virus in the village of Suzdalka near Novosibirsk, a source in the ministry told the news website. Veterinarian inspectors and health officials were summoned to the site to investigate the incident, the report said.
Russia does not produce enough poultry for domestic needs and imports over a million tonnes of poultry meat annually, mainly from the United States, the European Union and Brazil, Reuters writes.
Beltsov was not able to give any further details on the AH5 virus. The H5N1 strain of avian influenza has killed at least 50 people in Asia since 2003.
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
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