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  Thursday, October 22, 2020
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More fowl deaths have been registered in the southeast of the Moscow Region
More fowl deaths have been registered in the southeast of the Moscow Region, the local agriculture ministry said Tuesday. What killed some 75 birds at a private farm has not been established yet, but if bird flu is confirmed, Ramenskoye will be the sixth district in the Moscow Region to be hit by the recent outbreak of the deadly virus. Cases of avian flu were registered last Saturday in various districts in the Moscow Region, all of which were traced to a single market in southwest Moscow. The Russian agricultural watchdog confirmed Monday that the outbreak involved the deadly H5N1 virus. "Fowl death [in Ramenskoye] began February 17. All 177 birds at the farm were culled," the ministry said. The Emergency Situations Ministry said 150 dead birds were found at private farms in the Domodedovo, the Odintsovo, the Podolsk, the Naro-Fominsk and the Taldom districts in the Moscow Region last week, but that no cases of humans infected by the virus have been registered so far. Alexei Alexeyenko, a spokesman for the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision, said: "The virus is the Asian type of bird flu, which is dangerous to humans." Olga Gavrilenko, head of the local department of Russia's veterinary watchdog, said that at least one million domestic birds in the Moscow Region will be vaccinated against bird flu free-of-charge. Moscow's veterinary and food safety experts have urged local residents to avoid buying poultry at unauthorized locations, and prosecutors have launched a probe into "veterinary violations." According to the World Health Organization, the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has claimed 167 human lives globally since it first appeared in Asia in 2003. It has since spread worldwide, and scientists fear the virus could mutate into a form transmissible between humans, sparking a global pandemic. Russia recorded its first cases of avian flu in August 2005, but until now outbreaks have occurred only in southern provinces and in Siberia. The most recent bird flu outbreak occurred in mid-January in the southern region of Krasnodar, but by February it had been contained.
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