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October 20, 2005

Bad news from Russia and China

Russia and China have both reported new outbreaks of avian flu, according to Channelnewsasia.com.

Russia's agriculture ministry said the virulent H5N1 virus - already detected in Siberia in the summer - had been detected in the province of Tula, west of the Ural mountains, apparently borne by wild ducks.

In an immediate response, the European Union - which suffered a new blow as a fresh case of the lethal version of the virus was found in Romania - announced plans to extend a ban on Russian bird imports.
. . .

In Moscow, authorities confirmed that the virus in Tula was the H5N1 type, which was found in Siberia.

"We have confirmation from the laboratory that it is the H5N1 form" of bird flu, Nikolai Vlasov, deputy head of the ministry's veterinary control department, told AFP.

The announcement marks the the first time the virus has arrived west of the Urals in Russia. Russia has culled hundreds of thousands of fowl and imposed numerous quarantines in a bid to wipe out the virus.

In Beijing meanwhile authorities announced China's first reported outbreak of bird flu in more than two months, saying the disease had killed 2,600 birds, mostly chickens, on a farm in its northern Inner Mongolia region.

The national bird flu laboratory confirmed that an epidemic on a farm near the Inner Mongolian capital of Hohhot was the H5N1 strain, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The brief Xinhua report said the ministry of agriculture had immediately dispatched teams to ensure necessary quarantine and disinfection measures were undertaken.

ort was brief indeed; I couldn't find it on the Xinhua site. But the story was on CBC Radio news early this morning, so the mass media are following the spread of H5N1 more closely than usual.

Posted by dymaxion at October 20, 2005 09:53 AM

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