UPDATE: Farms shut in Russia's capital
On Sunday it was confirmed that at least six farms
within nearly 50 kilometres of Moscow, capital city, were found to have the
deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, which is suspected to be linked to the main live
poultry market Sadovod, nicknamed the Bird Market.
Farms and markets in the suburbs of Russia's capital were shut down as it
is believed that the virus is moving westward along migratory bird routes, as it
did last winter.
Over 5,000 residents will be monitored for any signs of illness, including
20 people who were in direct contact with infected animals. Officials announced
plans to vaccinate one million birds.
The public were told not to panic as poultry remain indoors during the
winter season in Moscow. However, in January, three H5N1
outbreaks were found in Krasnodar on the edge of the
Black Sea. Since December, neighbouring areas near the Black Sea have reported
the virus in domestic and wild birds in, including Turkey
and Georgia, where migrating birds brought the flu
in the winter of 2005/06.
Although it is too early to be certain, the pattern of the Moscow outbreak
makes it likely that it was caused by poultry trucked north, not by migrating
Consequently, the Ukraine State department of veterinary medicine has
temporarily imposed a ban on poultry import from the Moscow region.
According to the State department of veterinary medicine, import of other
goods from this territory should be carried out in accordance with veterinary
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