Thursday, November 03, 2005

Bird Flu in Russia

From one of the Avian Flu blogs comes this from Russia. As this virus spreads more and more human contact becomes probable. The more human contact there is the greater the likelihood that a human to human strain will emerge. That becomes the flashpoint of a local epidemic which in turn can become a global pandemic if not successfully contained.

Russia has discovered outbreaks of avian flu in 10 areas, and 19 more are under suspicion, agriculture ministry officials were quoted by the Itar-Tass agency as saying on Tuesday.

Among the areas affected are southern Siberia’s Altai and Omsk regions, the south Urals’ Kurgan region, neighboring Chelyabinsk and in central Russia’s Tambov regions as well as the Tula region south of Moscow.

"Three more areas in the Kurgan region and 16 in the (southern Siberian) Novosibirsk region are under suspicion," the ministry added.

Migratory birds had apparently carried the virus to Siberia from southeast Asia, leading to the destruction of hundreds of thousands of fowl and the introduction of quarantine measures.

The EU already has various bird import bans in place for Romania, Russia, Thailand and Turkey, countries which have announced confirmed cases of the lethal H5N1 bird flu strain, which humans can catch from infected birds.

For those of us who have been paying attention, this is old news. For others it bears repeating.

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