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  Friday, February 28, 2020
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Russian virologists downplayed the statement by the World Health Organization about a possible bird flu pandemic
"It's virtually impossible to predict a pandemic;" so one can hardly raise the issue, chief research fellow at the institute for vaccines under the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences Yuri Gendon told Echo Moskvy radio on Thursday. The existing strains of the bird flu virus cannot cause epidemic, far less pandemic," Gendon noted explaining that "viruses are rare, they do not transmit from human to human and even if one persons falls ill, it's one in a million case - and that because this person was in contact with sick poultry." He advised Muscovites against buying poultry at markets and urged them to use products of Moscow farms. Commenting on the measures which prevent the spreading of the virus, he noted that it is foremost necessary to determine which strain it is. All birds in the affected areas must be culled, Gendon said. Poultry farms must make sure they have no contacts with birds of passage, and supply the means of personal protection to their personnel and those engaged in culling the sick birds. "The Moscow region is taking absolutely adequate measures," Gendon underlined. "That our farms in the Moscow regions are quarantined is the right thing to do," he said. WHO experts warned that a bird flu outbreak might kill one to seven million people.
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