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Tests confirm H5N1 bird flu strain in two Moscow districts

Moscow, Feb 18: A Russian veterinary official reported a fourth outbreak of dead domestic poultry in a suburban Moscow district today as experts tightened quarantines following confirmation of the presence of the deadly h5N1 bird flu strain.

The presence of H5N1, confirmed by tests late yesterday, was the first such outbreak to be recorded so close to the Russian Capital.

Dead domestic fowl were reported today in the Taldom district, north of the capital, Moscow regional veterinarian Valery Sitinkov said, according to Russian news agencies.

Earlier, officials with the Federal Agricultural Oversight Agency Rosselkhoznadzor said that three District of west and south of Moscow had recorded bird deaths.

Agency spokesman Alexei Alexeyenko said late yesterday that tests had confirmed the presence of H5N1 in poultry found dead in two of the districts _ Odintsovo and Domodedovo _ where two dozen birds died this week. Results of tests taken in the Podolsk district, where nearly four dozen birds died, were still pending.

Officials said several people who were in close contact the dead poultry were taken in for medical observation, but no health problems had been reported.

Russian Television broadcast footage showing veterinary workers clad in protective suits checking homes in one district and spraying vehicle tires with disinfectant, while police began enforcing a quarantine in an effort to prevent the virus' spread.

Regulators also shut down an outdoor poultry market in Moscow where some of the dead birds appeared to have been bought and Nikolai Vlasov, a senior Rosselkhoznadzor Veterinary Official, said more outbreaks were possible.

Bureau Report
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:58 AM curdledvomit is offline  
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