News update:Mar 9, 2016

Russia fears spread of AI from Siberia

An outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza (AI) has been detected in the Republic of Tuva in the Siberian part of Russia, reports the country’s veterinary watchdog Rosselhoznadzor, Russia fears that the virus may spread to the European part of the country, where the largest poultry farms are located.

"There is a particular high risk of of the virus spreading to Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Omsk, Kurgan Oblasts, the Altai Territory and the northern part of Yakutia," according to Rosselhoznadzor.

At the end of April, a gene of highly pathogenic avian influenza was detected in curly pelicans, in the Ikryaninsky district of the Astrakhan Oblast. It is said that large numbers of wild birds may be infected with the highly virulent strain of AI and it is almost impossible to fully eliminate the possibility of them coming into contact with poultry on farms.

At the same time, according to the Russian veterinary experts, the situation can become more complicated if the virus would spread to the European part of Russia, where the largest poultry farms are located. A spreading of the virus to poultry farms in Siberia, with its small population, would be far less dangerous to humans than an outbreak in the central part of Russia.

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