[va-richmond-general] More bad news for birds worldwide?

  • From: "IE Ries" <featherchaser@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "RAS" <va-richmond-general@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 12:29:37 -0400


  Russia bird flu could spread to EU - vet official 
  By Aleksandras Budrys 1 hour, 27 minutes ago 

  MOSCOW (Reuters) - A strain of bird flu dangerous to humans could spread to 
parts of the 

  European Union from Siberia, a senior Russian veterinary official warned on 

  Chances were "very high" the strain found in the Novosibirsk region could 
spread to other parts of Siberia, the official from the Russian Veterinary and 
Phytosanitary Inspection Service told Reuters.

  "There is also a possibility that bird flu could spread to the European Union 
as (infected) wild birds from China may have been in contact in Russia with 
birds that will fly on to the Netherlands, France and elsewhere," the official 

  "North America is not safe either, as some birds from Russia fly there, too," 
said the official who did not wish to be named.

  The official said it had been confirmed on Friday that birds in the 
Novosibirsk region were infected with the H5N1 strain of bird flu, which is 
dangerous to humans, and not with H5N2, as had previously been believed.

  Bird flu is split in strains such as H5 and H7, which in turn have nine 
different subtypes. H5N1 subtype is highly pathogenic and can be passed from 
birds to humans, although there have been no known cases of human to human 

  More than 50 people have died in Asia from H5N1 since late 2003, raising 
fears it could mutate and form the basis of a global epidemic.

  Later, the Agriculture Ministry said bird flu had also been found in poultry 
in a farm in another region, Altai, between Novosibirsk and Kazakhstan.

  "A quarantine has been imposed in all the affected locations, and necessary 
measures are being taken to isolate the pockets of infection," the statement 

  It said that heads of regional veterinary services have been instructed to 
organize measures to prevent the spreading of the disease.

  Veterinary officials were examining samples taken on farms in other Siberian 
regions where migrating wild birds from China may have landed.

  The official said neighboring Kazakhstan, where deaths of poultry and wild 
birds in the northern Pavlodar region have been registered last month, may also 
have a bird flu strain similar to Russia's.

  "We have been in contact with the Kazakhs. The probability that they have the 
same type of virus is very high, as some birds fly to Russia from China through 
Kazakhstan. But it will take some time to have it confirmed," the official said.

  A spokesman for the Russian emergencies ministry said on Monday that so far 
no cases of humans being infected with bird flu had been registered.

  He said over 2,000 birds died of the virus in 18 villages in Novosibirsk 
region. Experts were also checking cases of deaths of poultry and wild birds in 
the neighboring regions of Omsk and Altai.

  (Additional reporting by Tatyana Mosolova in Moscow and Raushan Nurshayeva in 


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