Avian Influenza
Bird flu outbreak confirmed in Russia
Mar 10, 2006 - 9:22:37 PM

A bird flu outbreak has been confirmed at a bird product processing plant in southern Russia, Itar-Tass news agency reported.

Laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza virus in dead birds, the agency said Thursday.

More than 70,000 chickens have been culled since the beginning of March, when fowl began to die en masse at the processing plant in the southern region of Stavropol.

The infection and rapid spread of the deadly virus among the domestic birds were due to the plant's neglect of relevant regulations with regard to disease prevention, according to Russia's veterinary experts.

Stavropol region first reported the epidemic in late February when the virus was only spreading among birds on poultry farms.

But now more than 2,500 domestic birds have died of the disease in the region.

Since bird flu was firstly recorded in Siberia last July, the disease has been detected in other parts of Russia. The Caspian Sea province of Dagestan and the southwestern region of Krasnodar are the worst affected, where 900,000 and 700,000 domestic birds have been killed respectively as a result of the disease.

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