Bird flu detected in Russian southern region

Russian veterinary authorities confirmed Tuesday that bird flu has been detected in a southern region and that measures were being taken to prevent it from spreading.

The country's veterinary service identified the H5 type of bird flu in 200 swans that were found dead in the Volga River delta in the Astrakhan region, the Agriculture Ministry said.

It had not yet been determined if it was the H5N1 strain that has devastated poultry stocks and killed at least 67 people in Asia since 2003 and which experts fear could mutate into a form that is easily transmitted between people, possibly sparking a global pandemic.

Last month, bird flu spread west of the Ural Mountains, hitting the village of Yandovka, about 350 kilometers (200 miles) south of Moscow. No people have been infected by bird flu in Russia, the AP reports.


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