Bird flu detected in central Russia, officials say

Preliminary tests detected the H5N1 strain of bird flu in samples taken from a region south of Moscow where hundreds of birds died suddenly, the Agriculture Ministry said Wednesday.

If confirmed, the discovery in the Tula region, 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Moscow, would mark the first time the lethal H5N1 strain decimating flocks in Asia has appeared in European Russia, west of the Ural Mountains. Tests will be conducted to verify whether it is the deadly Asian strain confirmed in Siberia earlier this year. A.M.

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