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August 09, 2005

80 Migratory Birds Dead of Avian Flu in MongoliaPale Horseman

Mongolia Says 80 Migratory Birds Died From Avian Flu (Update1)

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia said 80 migratory birds were found dead in a lake, killed by an avian influenza virus, the World Organization for Animal Health reported.

Laboratory diagnosis yesterday of the wild ducks, geese and swans that were found on Aug. 2 has confirmed they died from `A'- type bird flu. The Paris-based animal health organization said in an e-mailed statement that it received the information today from Ravdan Sanjaatogtokh, director of the state veterinary services at Mongolia's ministry of food and agriculture in Ulan Bator.

Neighboring China, Russia and Kazakhstan have already reported outbreaks of an avian influenza virus that had infected 112 people in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia by Aug. 5, killing 57. Health experts fear the A/H5N1 virus may mutate into a strain that can be transmitted easily between humans.

The European Union said earlier today that it plans to ban imports of live birds, as well as feathers, from Russia and Kazakhstan because of confirmed outbreaks of avian influenza.

The ban, which will be in place by Aug. 12, will be reviewed in September, the Brussels-based European Commission, the 25- nation EU's executive arm, said in a statement.

Russia and Kazakhstan will join a list of nine Asian countries -- Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, China, Vietnam North Korea, Pakistan and Malaysia -- that are subject to similar bans. These nine nations aren't allowed to export birds, their meat or their products to the EU.

``No ban is necessary for eggs, poultry meat or meat products on this occasion as there is no trade between Russia and Kazakhstan and the EU in these products,'' the commission said.

The contagion is spreading.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry said 5,573 domestic and wild birds suspected of being infected have died in Novosibirsk, Omsk and Altay since July 21, when the A/H5N1 strain was identified in the three regions bordering Kazakhstan. In the past 24 hours, 217 birds have died, the ministry said on its Web site. The ministry didn't specify how many of the dead birds were culled to prevent the disease spreading.

``As of today, the epidemic situation in relation to diseases caused by this bird flu virus A/H5N1 is stable in relation to humans,'' the ministry said. ``There are no registered cases of humans being infected.''

Veterinary officials in Kazakhstan have confirmed an outbreak of bird flu in the country's Pavlodar region that borders Novosibirsk, Mosnews.com, an online Russian news provider, reported Aug. 5. A disease with similar symptoms was also killing birds in other parts of Kazakhstan, the report said.

The United Arab Emirates yesterday banned the import of all live birds from Russia, according to Gulf News.

Posted by dymaxion at August 9, 2005 02:15 PM

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