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August 19, 2005

Has bird flu reached Europe?

Russia is investigating mass bird deaths in a region to the west of the Ural mountains in what could become the first case of the deadly bird flu virus spreading to Europe, officials announced yesterday.

But Russia's chief animal health official said a preliminary analysis had shown the deaths in Kalmykia may not have been caused by the dangerous virus that can also kill humans.

The Russian state health watchdog, in a statement posted on its website, said the bird deaths occurred on a farm in the Caspian region of Kalmykia 2,000 km from the region where Russia's first flu outbreak was reported.

[...] There was no final word on what had caused the Kalmyk deaths but Sergei Dankvert, chief animal and plant safety officer, said the birds may have died from an infection caused by parasitic worms.

[...] Separately, Interfax news agency reported that health officials were looking into mass deaths of ducks near a reservoir in the Sverdlovsk region which borders a number of regions hit by the virus.

Full story.

Posted by dymaxion at August 19, 2005 03:34 PM

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