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The Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations is beginning a two-day anti-bird flu drill in Moscow on Thursday
The Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations is beginning a two-day anti-bird flu drill in Moscow on Thursday, the Information Department of the Ministry for Emergency Situations told Tass. The ministry formulated the idea of the drill as ensuring readiness of the state system of prevention and elimination of emergency situations with the aim to lessen the epizootic effects of the bird flu on the territory of the Russian Federation. The drill will be held in three stages and includes monitoring and analysis of the situation, organization of preventive activities and quarantine measures in the affected areas. Similar exercises have already been held in Siberia, including the Altai territory, the Omsk, Novosibirsk regions. More than 250 wild bird species traditionally fly through these territories in the period of spring migration. An outbreak of the epizootic infection was first registered in Siberia in July-August, 2005. Apart from the Siberian region, a second outbreak affected the Volga-Urals, Central, Southern federal districts. At present, mass incidents of bird flu have been registered in the south of Russia only. According to the Emergencies Ministry’s estimates, the virus of the bird flu might be transmitted to a considerable part of Russia in March, when a period of spring migration of wild birds begins. The Maritime territory, the Omsk, Saratov, Tyumen, Kurgan, Kaliningrad regions, Buryatia and the south of Russia are the areas facing the worst threat. Apart from Kalmykia, Dagestan, Adygeya, the Krasnodar and Stavropol regions already affected by the H5N1 virus, an epidemic of bird flu is expected in the Rostov, Astrakhan, Volgograd regions, said experts of the Emergencies Ministry. In Central Russia, the Voronezh, Bryansk, Tambov, Kaluga, Lipetsk, Smolensk, Tula regions are under threat, they said.
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