Human killer strain

Published: Wednesday 31 August 2005

Russia is currently battling a strain of bird flu that can infect humans. On August 2, 2005, authorities of Novosibirsk in Siberia said they had decided to slaughter 65,000 birds at 13 locations; the move followed detection of more cases of the h5n1 strain of bird flu. The government has also confirmed the spread of the strain in Siberia's Altai and Tyumen regions. The Altai region has announced that all birds at private farms, where the virus has been detected, will be killed. No cases of human infection have been registered so far in any area.

"It has been decided to slaughter all hens, ducks, geese and turkeys at farms where the virus has been detected. The farms' owners will be paid compensation for all the birds that are killed and provided with safe poultry meat and eggs at a discount price," said an administration spokesperson. Migratory birds from China are believed to have carried the virus to the country. Russia's veterinary service is also reportedly considering a ban on wild bird hunting in Siberia, the Urals and the Far East this year to prevent the spread of the virus. The h5n1 strain has killed over 50 people in Asia since late 2003.

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